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13.72 lakh tonnes of spicy crops output expected in Rajshahi Divn

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BSS, Rajshahi :
Around 13.72 lakh tonnes of spicy crops are expected to be produced from 1.43 lakh hectares of land in all eight districts under Rajshahi division during the current Rabi season.
Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) has set the production target and has taken all possible measures to attain the target as demand of the spicy crops are gradually mounting with rising of population.
The DAE has set the target of producing 9.67 lakh tonnes of onion from 79,985 hectares of land, 3.72 lakh tonnes of garlic from 46,718 hectares, 28,155 tonnes of chilly from 13,285 hectares, 3,173 tonnes of coriander from 2,537 hectares and 1,332 tonnes of black cumin from 1,270 hectares of land.
Around 2,500 farmers were given seeds and fertilizers valued at around Taka 42.84 lakh free of cost for onion farming on 2,500 hectares of land in the division under the current Rabi season's agricultural incentive programme, said Deb Dulal Dhali, Additional Director of DAE.
Farmers have cultivated the advanced variety of onion on around 4,060 hectares of land in the Barind area alone this season and most of them are happy after getting lucrative price of the newly harvested cash crop at present.
Meanwhile, farming of onion may break all the previous records in the region including its vast Barind tract as farmers are seen humming towards the spicy crop in the wake of its unusual price hike.
Everywhere in the region, farmers are now seen very much busy in transplanting onion seedlings creating scopes of seasonal employment for many people.
Nasir Uddin, a farmer of Lohabaria village under Godagari Upazila, said he had sold onion seedlings at Taka 800 to 900 per mound in the previous years but the price has been doubled at present due to manifold interests of the farmers.
Jamshed Ali, another farmer of Madarpur village, said he has cultivated onion seed on five bighas of land at a cost of around Taka three lakh and hoping of making profit due to rising of its price.
Iqbal Hossain of Krishnapur village under Mohanpur Upazila, said he's cultivating onions this year for the first time. He bought seedlings at a cost of Taka 2,200 per mound.
He said there is a bright prospect of bringing more acreage under onionfarming in the Barind region as the farmers are very much interested to cultivate the crop for its feature to consume less water.
Shamsul Haque, Deputy Director of DAE, said there is a prospect of massive onion farming this time adding that farming can be spread onto moreland this year than that of the previous one.
In nature, farmers of the region are habituated to farming of various vegetables including the spicy crops. The unusual price hike of onion has enhanced their interests to a greater extent this year, he added.
Prof Chowdhury Sarwar Jahan of Department of Geology and Mining in Rajshahi University said promotion of less-water consuming crops in Barind area is a good sign for lessening the gradually mounting pressure on its underground water.
More than 1,500 volunteers are motivating farmers to cultivate less water consuming crops through water resource management on behalf of the 'Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM)' Project.
DASCOH Foundation has been implementing the IWRM project in 1,280 drought-hit villages of 39 Union Parishad and three municipalities in eight upazilas of Rajshahi, Naogaon and Chapainawabganj districts with financial support of Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation since 2015.

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