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Intercropping helps boosting mango yield in Rajshahi

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BSS, Rajshahi :
Mango intercropping with various cereal crops especially paddy has started contributing a lot towards boosting mangoyield in the region.
The intercropping has been gaining momentum in the region including its vast Barind tract as the growers in general are getting interested towardsthe farming.
In the wake of adverse impact of climate change, the farmers face trouble to depend on only paddy cultivation for the last couple of years.
To get more income and to recoup the losses, they are cultivating paddy, onion, garlic, brinjal, mustard, turmeric and papaya with mango as intercropping. The farmers also created new mango orchards in the new method.
"I have an eight-bigha of mango orchard of intercropping with various seasonal crops. I am getting additional income from the farming," said Jamal Hossain, a farmer of Charghat Upazila in the district.
According to the Department of Agriculture Extension, the beneficiary farmers cultivated mango in around 25,000 hectares of land in Rajshahi, Chapainawabganj, Naogaon and Natore disricts.
Dr Sharaf Uddin, Senior scientific officer of Regional Horticulture Research Station said intercropping with sugarcane had been found as more beneficial to the growers as it could boost total crop production per unit area coupled with ensuring sustainable mango cultivation with higher economic benefit compared to other crops.
Quoting the field-level research findings and farmers' views, the mango researcher said systematic intercropping of paddy, onion, lentil, mug bean, garlic and some other winter crops, vegetables and spice help increase mango yield compared to sole-cropping.
Dr Sharaf Uddin said intercropping not only increase total crop production but also help improve soil health and fertility with little or no negative effect on mango yield and quality.
Furthermore, intercropping create additional job opportunity needed for intensive crop production. He underscored the need for expansion of mango intercropping through reactivating the field level agricultural officials and staff for the nation's food security.
The production of the juicy fruits increases each year for its profit, but unfortunately, not a single mango-processing plant has been established in the region for the preservation of the fruits since the inception of the country.
Mangoes grow almost everywhere in the district but Poba, Charghat and Bagha have a long-lasting tradition of producing quality fruits.
As the growers reap large sums of money from mango farming, it encourages many others towards farming mangoes, in turn resulting in an escalation of acreage..
Social harmony to sustain democracy stressed
Upholding social and political harmony is very important for institutionalising democracy as well as ensuring good governance everywhere in the society.
Responsive and positive role by all quarters, including political leaders, becomes crucial for maintaining peace and social harmony for the overall development of the nation. That is why all should come forward and work together to build the country as a peaceful one.
The views were expressed in a harmony festival at Charghat Upazila Auditorium in the district yesterday.
Various development organisations, including peace pressure group, women network, mass-research forum and village development team, jointly organised  the festival.
More than 300 political leaders, public representatives, members of the
civil society and students joined the event.
Chaired by Convener of the festival Saiful Islam Badsha, the meeting was
addresses, among others, by Country Director of the Hunger Project Bangladesh
Dr Badiul Alam Mazumder, Upazila Chairman Abu Sayeed Chand, Upazila Nirbahi
Officer Ashraful Islam, Union Parishad Chairman Hasanuzzaman Madhu, Awami

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