Bumper onion production expected in Rajshahi | The Asian Age Online, Bangladesh

Over 9.32 lakh tonnes of onion is expected to be produced from around 88,800 hectares of land in all eight districts of the division during the ongoing Rabi season.The Departmentof Agriculture Extension (DAE) has set a target of producing around 3.14 lakh tonnes of the spicy cash crop from 29,920 hectares of land in four districts in Rajshahi Agricultural Zone, while 6.18 lakh tonnes from 58,880 hectares in four other districts of Bogura Zone.The DAE has already intensified steps for enhancing onion production through encouraging the farmers in general to mitigate the crisis of the spicy item, reports BSS.

Sudhendra Nath Roy, Additional Director of DAE, said the grassroots farmers are being given ideas and modern knowledge to get good yield through the best management of fertilizer, irrigation and pesticides.Simultaneously, the farmers are also seen showing their interests towards onion farming side by side with paddy, wheat, maize and winter vegetables amid massive demand and exorbitant price of the spice crop in the present market.

Agriculturist Sudhen Roy said around 14,000 farmers will get seeds and fertilizers as incentives for onion farming on 4,250 bighas of land in the division under the current rabi season’s agricultural incentive programme. Each of the farmers will get the support for onion farming on ten decimal of land.

Meanwhile, the farmers are seen bursting with seeds of the advanced variety of onion at present. They hoped that the advanced variety of onion will be harvested within the mid or end of the next month that is presumed to help reduce the price hike of the cooking ingredient.Nurul Islam, 46, a farmer of Mathura village under Bagmara Upazila, said he will cultivate onion on two bighas of land this year instead of the previous year’s one bigha. He got lucrative prices for the crops in the past couple of months.

Moyez Uddin, another farmer of Ghasigram village under Mohanpur Upazila, said he had cultivated onion on one and half bigha of land. He benefited significantly as he got a good yield and better price. “I’m preparing to bring two bighas of land under the cash crop farming this year,” he said.

He said many of the farmers have got good profit through the brisk business of seed-onion during the current season.In Rajshahi, onion of Tahirpur variety is very much popular in the region as most of the farmers cultivate it for a long time, he added.Mijanur Rahman, 45, a farmer of Krishnapur village under Tanore Upazila, said he has taken preparation for farming onion on ten decimal of land after harvesting aman paddy this season.He said there is a bright prospect of bringing more acreage under onion farming in the Barind region as the farmers are very much interested to cultivate the crop for its feature to consume less water.

Rahman said he is very happy cultivating various less-water consuming crops like onions. “I had to face many troubles to manage irrigation water for boro cultivation,” he said. But, the cultivation of water-saving crops is suitable for the farmers of the area, he added.Upazila Agriculture Officer Shamimul Islam said onion farming can be spread onto more lands this year than that of the previous one.

Various government and non-government entities including Barind Multipurpose Development Authority (BMDA) have been conducting different motivational programmes among the farmers to promote the water-saving crops in the drought-prone Barind area.More than 1,200 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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