At present, local wholesale and retail markets both in rural and urban areas have become abundant with varieties of winter vegetables like cauliflower, cabbage, beans, tomato and potato. Production of vegetables is now being adjudged as one of the major income-generating activities in the region.
Marginal farmers and poor people in the region are mostly engaged in this venture of producing different vegetables through the best use of spaces around homesteads almost round the year.
Various government and non-government entities concerned including Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) and Bangladesh Agriculture Research Institute (BARI) are extending necessary cooperation including training and inputs to the farmers.
DAE has set a target of producing more than 16.47 lakh metric tonnes of vegetables from 82,315 hectares of land in eight districts in Rajshahi division.
On-Farm Research Division (OFRD) of BARI has been implementing various types of need-based programmes to help farmers produce traditional fruits and vegetables round the year.
Various other agriculture-related departments and institutions have taken adequate steps to assist the framers in making the winter vegetables’ farming programme more profitable and successful.
Side by side with Rajshahi Krishi Unnayan Bank, various public and private commercial banks and NGOs disbursed easy-term agriculture loans among the farmers to make the winter vegetable farming programme a total success.
Mosharraf Hossain, a farmer of Nawhata Sheepur village under Paba upazila, said he cultivated cauliflower and cabbage on three bighas of land after taking it on lease at a cost of Taka of 15,000.
So far, he sold the crop worth Taka 20,000 and expects more production if weather remains favorable. Like him, many others were also benefited by the suitable climate and rainfalls.
OFRD Senior Scientific Officer Dr Shakhawat Hossain told BSS that the interested farmers were being given preference to use BARI’s Tested Pattern Technology in their gardening projects around homesteads.
Rajshahi has been regarded as the country’s most prospective vegetable producing region. The farmers have become more interested in vegetable cultivation as they have been gaining more profit during the last couple of years.
Apart from, vegetables’ farming becomes more profitable than other crops in recent years bringing fortunes to thousands of farmers and commoners in the region during the past few years.
SM Mustafizur Rahman, additional director of DAE, said use of vacant spaces for producing vegetables has been seen as potential means for gradual development in the life of the downtrodden in the region.
With the increase in population, the demand for vegetables is also increasing in the region. Varieties of vegetables are available in the local markets round the years because of regular farming of the crops along with other seasonal fruits and crops, he added.