Farmers losing interest in asparagus beans (Barbati) cultivation in Kulaura

KULAURA (Moulvibazar) : Farmers at Kulaura Upazila load their asparagus bean (bartali) into a truck for sale in markets. The anap was taken on Friday. NN photo
KULAURA (Moulvibazar) : Farmers at Kulaura Upazila load their asparagus bean (bartali) into a truck for sale in markets. The anap was taken on Friday. NN photo

Moulvibazar Correspondent :

Some four hundred farmers from 30 villages in two unions of Kulaura in Moulvibazar have been cultivating asparagus beans ( Barbati) locally known as Ramai commercially every year. But despite the huge success in cultivating barbati for almost a decade and a half, the cultivation of barbati has remained limited between the two unions of Brahmanbazar and Baramchal of the upazila. Farmers are losing interest in cultivating Barbati due to various problems including irrigation water crisis and lack of government incentives. Barbati has been cultivated in less than half of the land this year as compared to last 2 year.
According to the Upazila Agriculture Extension Department, Barbati has been cultivated in 20 hectares of agricultural land in Brahmanbazar and Baramchal Union of the upazila in this season. In this region, Chinese, Kegor Natki, Lal Beni varieties of Barbati are cultivated. Barbati was cultivated on 45 hectares of land in year 2021 and 40 hectares in year 2020.
This season, farmers are selling one kg of it for only Tk 30 to 35 while it was sold for Tk 20 to 25 last year. The growers, who had earlier eyed a good profit, are now anxious to get back their production cost. Encouraged by bumper production and unexpected profit last year, Kulaura farmers cultivated turmeric on 45 hectares of land, said Upazila officials of Agriculture Department. They cultivated string been on the abandoned land surrounding their homesteads and paddy field this year in the hope of making a good profit, but sharp fall in price has dashed their expectations.
Farmer Mahfuzur Rahman 34, of Sripur village in Kulaura upazila said, “As I earned a good profit last year, I cultivated string been on more land this year. I got bumper production, but the current market price of string been has frustrated me.
Also Mahfuzur Rahman Said , due to low rainfall from January to April, they had to face irrigation water crisis. If tube wells and pumps are officially provided for irrigation in these areas, our irrigation crisis will be alleviated at this time. Barbati has been planted on less land this year.”
Tanvir Miah 35, Ma Ahad miah 39, of Baramchal village in the same upazila said, “We have to count a huge loss due to abnormal fall in string been price in the market.
We are not getting even production cost by selling turmeric in the local markets.” While visiting different markets in the district on Thursday and Friday, this correspondent saw farmers with their yard long been waiting long hours as sale has nosedived due to thin presence of buyers. They have to sell string been at low rate as they need money for other farming.
Kulaura upazila Agriculture Officer Abdul Mumin said, The agriculture officer advised the farmers. Officially, there is no government incentives of barbati cultivation.
Encourage the use of eco-friendly sex pheromone traps to prevent insect infestation so that farmers reduce the use of pesticides on crops. It will also save money. The yellowing of the leaves is due to infection with the `yellow mosaic’ virus. Irrigation is a matter for BADC Irrigation and Water Development Board. They will mannage that.