Varieties of early winter vegetables have started appearing in both retail and wholesale markets here making both the sellers and buyers happy for the last couple of weeks.
Farmers in the region including the vast Barind tract are successfully producing early varieties of winter vegetables like cauliflower, cabbage, radish, carrot, beet, turnip, tomato, leafy spinach, red spinach and receiving fair prices in the wholesale market.
Officials of Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) said almost 1,50,000 hectares of land was brought under vegetables cultivation in the region this year. Production target has been set at around 21.5 tonnes from each hectare of land. Around 2.5 lakh tonnes of vegetables are expected to be produced in Rajshahi region this season.
Over one lakh people of 50 villages are involved in cultivating and selling different types of vegetables in the area.
Anwar Hossain, a farmer of Rajabari village under Godagari Upazila, said that he spends about Taka 750 for cultivating cauliflower on one decimal of land and gets 1.5 to 2 mounds of cauliflower. The wholesale market price of cauliflower is between Taka 2,000 to 2,200 per mound. He said the farmers are making a profit of Taka 450 to 550 per decimal of land by cultivating early winter vegetables.
Large quantities of vegetables are being transported to Dhaka, Chittagong and other major cities from the region. Abdus Sobhan, a local trader, said some 15 to 20 trucks are loaded with vegetables everyday and going to the capital city and other cities. A truck can carry up to 5 thousands of long gourds. On an average some 80 thousand of gourds are being sent to different parts of the country, he added.
Monwar Hossain, a trader, who came to Baneswar Bazar under Puthiya Upazila from Dhaka Karwan Bazar, for buying early winter vegetables, said he bought some long gourd, cauliflower, cabbage, cucumbers and other vegetables. He paid Taka 1,500 for one hundred pieces of long gourd and plans to sell it for at least Taka 2,000 at Karwan Bazar.
Akteruzzaman, chairman of Dewpara Union Parishad, said more vegetables are grown in the area than any other place in the district. Fazlur Rahman, additional director of DAE, Rajshahi told BSS that different varieties of vegetables were being taken to Dhaka and Chittagong every day.
Vegetables are grown in all the upazilas of the district but Paba, Durgapur, Charghat, Bagha, Mohanpur and Bagmara upazilas have fertile land where yields are much higher, he said. He said growing vegetables is very cost effective than any other crop cultivation, reports BSS, Rajshahi.