Grass cultivation makes 10,000 char families self-reliant | Greenwatch Dhaka | The leading online daily of Bangladesh

Grass cultivation makes 10,000 char families self-reliant


More than 10,000 extremely poor families have achieved self-reliance through commercial cultivation of sweet jumbo grass in the sandy char areas on the Brahmaputra basin in recent years.Expanded cultivation of the Australian hybrid variety grass has also been helping the char people in boosting the animal husbandry and eradicating abject poverty to lead better life with their family members.They have achieved the success with assistance of the Chars Livelihood Programme (CLP) being funded by the UKaid through Department for International Development to help the char people in ten northwestern riverine districts since 2008.Following expanded cultivation of the nutritious grass, milk production has become doubled with easy fattening of cows, incidents of cattle deaths reduced and fodder crisis of cattle heads during the rainy season has been resolved in the char areas.After getting excellent production with lucrative price in recent years, a number of local NGOs have launched expanded farming programme of the grass on over 8,000 acres land with CLP assistance this season in the char areas.Agriculture and Environment Coordinator Mamunur Rashid of RDRS Bangladesh, one of the implementing organisations of CLP, said farming of the grass has been expanding fast in char areas in recent years.The char people have been eradicating abject poverty through selling cattle-heads after fattening, increasing milk production, meeting nutritional demand of malnourished children and fodder crisis following huge grass production.Besides, the owners of the bigger diary farms of Bogra and other areas in the northern districts have been purchasing the nutritious grass at better rates to feed their cows for getting increased milk production.Senior Agriculture Officer of RDRS Bangladesh Anup Kumar Ghosh said the grass growers get the first harvest after one month of sowing seed and total eight harvests every month from January to August.“The growers have been earning a net profit of Taka 80,000 on an average annually through cultivation of the grass on one acre char land excluding the production costs of Taka 20,000 after feeding own cows,” he said.
Farmers Shahjahan of village char Bozra Diarkhata, Faridul Islam and Abdul Baten of village Jadur Char, Mintu Mian of village Nalita Khata said they sowed the grass seed on their 20 to 30 decimals land this time some four months ago.“We are meeting total fodder demand of our 22 to 30 cows and we have sold the produced grass at Taka 20,000 to Taka 30,000 in three harvests so far and earned the expected profits and there will be more five harvests,” they said.Farmer Wahed Ali of Kachir Char in Sadar upazila of Kurigram told BSS that he has cultivated the grass in one-acre land this time and already sold the produced grass at Taka 55,000 so far after feeding his own 20 cows.Chilmari Upazila Agriculture Officer Shamsuddin Mian said cultivation of the nutritious grass effectively helps in enhancing animal husbandry in char areas bringing fortune to hundreds of the extremely poor char people.Horticulture Specialist of the Department of Agriculture Extension Khondker Md Mesbahul Islam said expanded cultivation of the grass has become popular to make the poor char people self-reliant boosting the animal husbandry sector in char areas.BSS, Rangpur


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