The Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) has fixed a target of producing 5,091 tonnes of six varieties of pulses from 3,735 hectares of land in Rangpur agriculture region during the current Rabi season.
DAE officials said farmers produced a record 5,839 tonnes of these pulses from 4,357 hectares of land against the fixed production target of 2,521 tonnes from 1,938 hectares exceeding the fixed farming target by 125 percent during the last Rabi season.
The fixed target for the current season includes production of 2,191 tonnes of lentil from 1,631 hectares of land, 2,467 tonnes of 'Khesari' from 1,797 hectares, 88 tonnes of 'Arhar' from 70 hectares, 120 tonnes of gram from 62 hectares, 195 tonnes mungbean from 155 hectares and 20 tonnes of cowpea from 16 hectares of land.
“Farmers have already brought 1,665 hectares of land under cultivation of these six varieties of pulses by the last weekend as sowing of seeds continues in the region,” said Additional Director of the DAE's Rangpur region Agriculturist Md. Tauhidul Ikbal.
He said the DAE and other agriculture-related institutions and organisations are providing training, quality seeds, latest technologies and inputs to farmers to make the pulse farming programme a success in the region.
In addition, the government through different commercial banks continues disbursing easy-term agriculture loans to farmers to encourage them in bringing more land under cultivation of pulses to enhance production this season.
“We are expecting that enthusiastic farmers would exceed the fixed farming target of pulses and achieve a bumper production during the current Rabi season across the region,” Ikbal added.
Talking to BSS, Senior Coordinator (Agriculture and Environment) of RDRS Bangladesh Agriculturist Mamunur Rashid told BSS that there is a huge potential to enhance pulse production in the northern region despite crop diversification.
“Special emphasis should be put on exploring the prevailing prospect to increase pulse production through increasing its cultivation by adopting latest agriculture technologies and using high yielding varieties of seeds,” he said.
He put special emphasis on adoption of the mixed, relay and intercropping crop cultivation methods to increase farming and production of pulses on the main land and riverine char areas as well in all seasons to make the nation self-reliant on pulses.
Talking to BSS, farmers Abdur Rahman, Mohsin Ali, Akhteruzzaman and Badiul Islam of different villages in Rangpur said they are sowing seeds of different varieties of pulses on their croplands after harvesting Aman rice.
“After getting bumper production and lucrative prices, farmers are showing keen interest in bringing more land under pulse cultivation during the current season," farmer Ariful Haque Batul of village Najirdigar in the outskirts of Rangpur city said.