The government has fixed a target of producing over 16,09,185 tonnes of winter vegetables from 65,681 hectares of
land for the two agriculture regions of Rangpur division during the current (2021-2022) Rabi season.
Officials of the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) said the fixed target includes production of 9,48,360 tonnes of winter vegetables from 38,350 hectares of land in five districts of Rangpur agriculture region. Besides, 6,60,825 tonnes of winter vegetables will be produced from 27,331 hectares of land in three districts of Dinajpur agriculture region in the division.
During the last (2020-2021) Rabi season, farmers produced 15,61,680 tonnes of winter vegetables from 66,107 hectares of land in all eight districts under the two agriculture regions in the division braving the Covid-19 pandemic.
Meanwhile, the government has already taken ample steps like distribution of special incentives, high quality seeds and fertilisers among farmers to make the intensive winter vegetables' farming programme successful in the division this season.
The DAE, Bangladesh Agriculture Research Institute, Bangladesh Institute of Nuclear Agriculture, Bangladesh Agriculture Development Corporation and other organisations will supply quality seeds, agri-inputs and provide technical assistance to farmers. The commercial banks including Rajshahi Krishi Unnayan Bank and some NGOs are disbursing easy-term agriculture loans among farmers to make the winter vegetable farming programme a success.
Talking to BSS, Additional Director of the DAE for Rangpur region Agriculturist Bidhu Bhusan Ray said farmers are showing interest in farming winter vegetables on more land area after getting repeated bumper productions with fair prices in recent years. Farmers are continuing cultivation of winter vegetables and have already sowed seeds on over 1,500 hectares of land after harvesting short duration Aman rice and they will start harvesting early varieties of the vegetables from the next month to reap better profits.
"Farming of winter vegetables will get full momentum soon when harvest of the traditional varieties of Aman rice will continue in full swing from the third week of November in the division," Ray said.
Senior Coordinator (Agriculture and Environment) of RDRS Bangladesh Agriculturalist Mamunur Rashid said farmers are expected to bring more lands in both the mainland and riverine char areas under cultivation of winter vegetables this season. Many farmers started farming winter vegetables soon after the recession of floodwater from their submerged croplands in the low-lying and char areas from the first week of September in Kurigram, Gaibandha, Lalmonirhat and Rangpur districts this year.
Besides, farmers are also cultivating winter vegetables after harvesting short duration varieties of Aman rice from the first week of the current month in all eight districts of Rangpur division.
"As a result, early varieties of winter vegetables would appear in local markets from the next month following early cultivation of those by farmers under newer cropping patterns evolved in accordance with changing climatic conditions," Rashid said.
Flood-hit farmers Saiful Islam of village Satvita and Abu Bakker of village Noyagram in Kurigram said they have already cultivated early varieties of winter vegetables after recession of floodwater last month. Farmers Azizar Rahman and Narayan Chandra Sen of village Bhimpur in Rangpur said they have already sowed seeds of winter vegetables after harvesting short duration varieties of Aman rice last week.
They are expecting to start harvesting early varieties of winter vegetables on their croplands to harvest those from the third week of November and reap more profits.