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23 November, 2019 00:00 00 AM
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Pumpkin farming on char lands gaining popularity

BSS, Rangpur
Pumpkin farming on char lands gaining popularity

Cultivation of pumpkin along with other winter crops in relay-method is being expanded every year on char lands improving livelihoods of char people in Rangpur agriculture region in the last eleven years.

Officials and experts of the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) and NGOs said increasing number of char and riverside people are sowing seed of pumpkin and other Rabi crops on sandy char lands and dried-up riverbeds in full swing now.

After getting repeated bumper production and better prices in recent years, char people are showing more interest in farming pumpkin with other crops on char lands to earn huge profits also improving agro-economy in char areas.

The DAE, Practical Action Bangladesh (PAB), RDRS Bangladesh, Gano Unnayan Kendra, Solidarity and many other NGOs are assisting char people to promote pumpkin farming on char lands and silted-up riverbeds to improve livelihoods and change fortune.

Senior Coordinator (Agriculture and Environment) of RDRS Bangladesh Agriculturist Mamunur Rashid told BSS that some 45,000 poor char families have changed fortune through farming pumpkin with other crops.

“With assistance of the DAE and RDRS Bangladesh alone, some 23,000 char families have expanded pumpkin cultivation on char lands in around 300 char villages of all five districts in Rangpur agriculture region,” he said.

“The char people are sowing pumpkin seeds on sandy char lands and silted-up beds of the Brahmaputra, Teesta, Dharla, Kartoa, Ghaghot and other rivers,” Rashid added.

Manager (Agriculture) of PAB Agriculturist Nirmal Chandra Bepari said the organisation extended project assistance to over 22,000 char families with the DAE support for expanding pumpkin cultivation on sandbars in 200 villages since 2009.

“Even after the expiry of the project two years back, char families are producing pumpkin in the tune of over 1.30-lakh tonnes worth over Taka 130 crore annually with Taka 10 per kg price at the farmers’ level in the region,” Nirmal said.

Talking to BSS, Abdur Razzaque, Morsheda Begum and Mahbub Alam of riverside Char Paschim Mohipur village in Gangachara upazila of Rangpur discussed their stories of winning extreme poverty through pumpkin cultivation.

They are expanding cultivation of pumpkin with other crops like onion, garlic, vegetables, green chili, squash, potato, brinjal, sweet potato and other Rabi crops on the sandy char lands and dried-up riverbeds this season.

“We generally spend Taka 13,000 to 15,000 for farming pumpkin on 200 sandbars each and earn a net profit of Taka 20,000 to 25,000 annually after completing harvests by May,” said Razzaque.

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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