Cropping on riverbeds, char lands becoming popular

Cropping on riverbeds, char lands becoming popular

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Cultivation of various crops has become popular on the dried up riverbeds and low-lying char lands in the river basins bringing fortune to thousands of the river-eroded, landless and extremely poor people in recent years.
Meanwhile harvest of various crops cultivated on the dried up riverbeds and low-lying char lands has already begun predicting bumper output in the northern region this season like in the previous years, official sources and local people said.The char and riverside people are happy getting excellent crop yield on vast tracts of the dried up beds and sandy char lands of the Brahmaputra, Teesta, Dharla, Ghaghot, Jamuna and other rivers to complete the harvest before the next rainy season.According to sources in the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) and different NGOs, cultivation on the shoals, dried and silted up riverbeds and char lands has become possible due to massive deposition of alluvial soils due to climate change.Crops like Boro rice, maize, wheat, vegetables, onion, garlic, groundnut, ‘china’, ‘kawn’, pulses, ‘gunji till’, tobacco, pumpkin, gourd, corn, pulses, mustard, other oil seeds, and watermelon have grown well on these lands this time.The landless char people, small and marginal farmers have brought over 85,000 hectares land under crop cultivation this year and they are getting excellent crop yield now as the harvesting will continue till commencement of the rainy season.Char dwellers Akbar Ali, of village Char Montola, Sultan Hossain of Korai Barisal, Sonavan Bibi of Kheruar Char, Afsar of Char Goynar Patal on the Brahmaputra in Chilmari upazila said they are expecting bumper crop production this year.They said they have already completed harvest of their cultivated mustard and vegetables and started harvesting other crops like pumpkin, onion, garlic, wheat, tobacco and many other crops to get excellent yield this season.River-eroded people of village Paschim Mohipur under Gangachara upazila in Rangpur Mahbub Alam, Kobiza Begum, Abdur Razzaque and Morsheda Begum are expecting bumper production of crops cultivated on the Teesta riverbed this season.
Similarly, landless riverside people Abdul Aziz of Nilphamari, Farman Ali of Lalmonirhat, Nur Islam of Kurigram, Manju Rani of Gaibandha also expected bumper output of their cultivated various crops including pumpkin on sandy-barren char lands.They said each of them has cultivated pumpkin on 200 sandbars raised on the silted-up beds spending Taka 13,000 on an average each to sell the produce at Taka 30,000 to earn net profit of Taka 17,000 by each of them after completing harvest by next month.Manager (Agriculture) of Practical Action Bangladesh Nirmal Chandra Bepari said 14,357 river-eroded families have achieved success by cultivating pumpkin on 5,099 acres of sandy-barren char lands in five greater Rangpur districts alone since 2009.All of these landless families have changed their fortune to lead better life with assistance of Practical Action Bangladesh though they lived in utter miseries for years together since becoming victims of river erosions, he said.Horticulture specialist of the DAE Khondker Md Mesbahul Islam said crop cultivation on these lands has been taking place due to drying up and silting up of the rivers with emergence of shoals following adverse impacts of climate change.Despite better crop production on dried up riverbeds, there is no alternative to reviving water flows in the rivers for better future, environment, agriculture, bio-diversity and ecology, said Agriculture and Environment Coordinator of RDRS Bangladesh Mamunur Rashid. BSS, Rangpur

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