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Habibulla Masum
The country is set to see a bumper production of winter vegetables, to exceed the target of production this year, as farmers were provided with all sorts of logistic support like seeds, fertilisers, irrigation and pesticides, said farmers and DAE officials.
They said, if production of winter vegetables continues with a rising trend, Bangladesh can earn a huge amount of money by exporting the vegetables.
The country is already ranked third in the world index on vegetable exports, which is also playing a vital role in contributing to the GDP.
“The government is trying to create contract farming in which several steps to control pests have been imposed. Bangladesh produces more than 150 types of vegetables and exports 119 types of vegetable products,” said a senior official at the Department of Agricultural Extension.
The DAE officials said, farmers who cultivated vegetables in different district including Narsingdi, Jamalpur, Rangpur, Jhenidah, and Dinajpur, are reaping better in the current season as they have been applying modern technology, improved seeds and balanced fertilizer in the lands.
In Jhenidah, the DAE has set a target to produce 239,671 tonnes of vegetables on 11,495 hectares of land in the current season against the past season’s 231,180 tonnes on a total of 11,050 hectares, throughout the district.
Deputy director of the DAE in Jhenidah, GM Abdur Rauf said, the farmers are reaping better yield of winter vegetables as there was no excessive rainfall from the inception of the farming this season. Till November 15, the farmers brought 6,740 hectares of land under winter vegetable farming, he said while expressing hope that the area of operation might exceed 12,000 hectares.
In Narsingdi, the DAE has fixed a target of producing 1, 86500 tonnes of winter vegetables from 8922 hectares of land this Robi season.
DAE deputy director Shovan Kumar Dhar said, farmers in the six upazilas of the district have already started growing various kinds of winter vegetables on 7800 hectares of land. He expressed hope that the target of cultivation and production fixed by the DAE will be exceeded this season.
In Jamalpur, the DAE has fixed the target of cultivating winter vegetables on 17,010 hectares of land in the district during the season.
DAE sources said, the department is expecting that farmers of the district would produce 3, 54,659 tonnes of winter vegetables this year.
Bangladesh Agriculture Development Corporation (BADC) allotted 3062 kilograms of vegetable seeds for distribution among the farmers in the district during the current season, the sources added.
In Rangpur, the DAE fixed the target of producing 13.78 lakh tonnes of winter vegetables on 66,114 hectares of land during the current season.
Deputy Director of the DAE for Rangpur, Dr Sarwarul Alam, predicted a bumper yield of winter vegetables during this season following favourable climatic conditions and adequate assistance being provided by the government to farmers.
“Some winter vegetables have appeared in local markets now following early farming under newer cropping patterns evolved in accordance with changing climatic conditions,” Alam said.
According to available data from Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics, agricultural GDP has increased 5.8 times since Independence while the total GD¬P has increased 21 times during the period.
Riding on the agriculture sector particularly, Bangladesh’s economy grew 7.86 percent in 2017-18 fiscal. During the fiscal, agriculture grew by 4.19 percent, way up from provisional estimate of 3.06 percent, according to the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS).
Deputy Director of DAE, AKM Ruhul Amin said, the field level agriculture officers were instructed to motivate the farmers to farm vegetables to help them profit economically and meet the growing demand of the people as well.
Agriculture Minister Matia Chowdhury has recently said, the country has become self-sufficient in food through the implementation of effective measures.
“We have achieved great success in producing rice and vegetables while production of other goods has increased significantly”, she also said.