Farmers are seen humming towards cotton farming in Rajshahi region including its vast Barind tract as they are getting extra benefit from the cash crop.
Toufiqur Rahman, Upazila Agriculture Officer in Godagari, said current year’s favourable weather makes them optimistic about harvesting better yield.
He said the farmers cultivated cotton in different Barind areas like Godagari, Tanore, Nachole, Gomostapur and Sapahar last year experimentally. After attaining success, they enhanced acreage and cultivated the crop commercially this year.
Isharul Haque, a farmer of Shreerampur village, has cultivated cotton on 10 decimal of land. He has to spend around Taka 10,000 for the farming purpose.
Haque said both plant and flower has become eye-catching at present. After next two months, he will harvest cotton successfully if the prevailing suitable climatic condition prolongs.
He had earned profit worth Taka 8,000 through cultivating the crop on one bigha of land last year.
He added that there is no problem of marketing cotton as the factory people purchase it from the field.
Faruque Hossain, a farmer of village Birail under the same upazila, said: “Last year I cultivated cotton on 15 decimal lands and I got five mounds cotton and earned Tk 20,000. As I got a good profit, I have brought 4 bighas of land under cotton cultivation in the current season”.
He told BSS that the cotton farming is helpful towards enriching organic matter of the soil. It’s a less-water consuming crop.
Hassan Ali, another farmer of village Udpur, said that he has brought 4 bighas of land under cotton cultivation and he is expecting Tk 70,000 profit from his output.
Musaddid Al Shamim, Chief Cotton Development Officer, said acreage of the crop is gradually increasing in the region for the last couple of years. Farmers have started replacing the paddy and sugarcane cultivation lands with cotton farming because it requires less investment and less labour.
He said most of the farmers cultivate some varieties like CB-12 and three hybrid varieties- Rupli-1 and DM 1 and 2 for better output.
Shamim said a total of 2,500 hectares of land has been brought under cotton cultivation in the region this year with an output target of around 14,205 bales. In last 2016-2017 fiscal year, 13,321 bales were harvested from 2,331 hectares of arable land.
He said they had already selected Barind areas of Rajshahi, Naogaon and Chapai Nawabganj, where other crops cannot be produced, for cotton cultivation.
Optimum expansion of cotton farming to high barind tract could be the vital means of lessening the gradually mounting pressure on groundwater.
“We are working with Cotton Development Board to devise ways and means on how to promote the cash crop farming in the area,” said Engineer Abdur Rashid, Executive Director of Barind Multipurpose Development Authority, reports BSS from Rajshahi.