Bumper production of spicy crops likely in northern Bangladesh this season
RANGPUR, Feb 17 BSS) – A bumper production of the spicy crops is likely in northern Bangladesh following massive steps taken by the government to make the fixed farming programme successful this season, officials and experts said.
The farmers have exceeded the fixed farming target of the spicy crops and harvests of onion, garlic, chilli, dhania, ginger and turmeric have been continuing with excellent yield rates to contain their market prices now, they said.
Additional Director of Rangpur Zone of the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) Mohsin Ali said the government has taken various steps to increase production of all kinds of spicy crops to meet local demand and reduce dependency on import.
Horticulturist Mezbahul Islam said that DAE has intensified its motivational activities under the ongoing seven-year Special Action Plan (SAP) launched in 2004 for increasing oil seed, pulse and spice productions by 15 percent in the country.
The DAE provides the farmers with quality seeds, inputs and trainings and assistance in proper crop diversification, land management and utilization of latest technologies that encouraged farmers effectively for large-scale spices farming this season, he said.
Besides, disbursements of the easiest term agri-loans at only two percent interest rate among the farmers as per directions of the Bangladesh Bank has been proved to be very effective for expanding spicy crop cultivation.
To make the country self-reliant in spices, the government has set a massive target of producing 23.23 lakh tonnes of spicy crops on 4.66 lakh hectares and taken adequate steps to make the programme a success this season.
The fixed national target includes production of 9,86,006 tonnes of onion, garlic, dhania, chilli, turmeric and ginger from 1,58,412 hectares in all 16 northern districts, the DAE sources said.
However, the farmers have cultivated these spicy crops on over 1.62 lakh hectares land , which is almost two percent higher than the fixed farming target for the region, the sources said.
Agri-scientist Dr MA Mazid told BSS that production of spices could be increased further through proper crop diversification, utilization of the latest technologies as the people including the landless are farming spices now on the fallow lands and homesteads.