A total of 355 farmers of Sadullapur upazila in the district have brought 200 bighas of land under summer bottle gourd farming during the current season.
Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) under the Ministry of Agriculture took second crops diversification project in 52 upazilas including Sadullapur across the country in 2010.
In response, a total of 33 farmers of the upazila cultivated summer gourd on their high and medium high land for the first time and then, they were able to produce summer bottle gourd successfully.
Earlier, the agri officials provided high quality seeds and trainings and other technological support to the growers to make the farming a success in the upazila.
To see the success of summer bottle gourd farming in the upazila last year, many farmers crowded the upazila agriculture office to collect seeds in a bid to farm it on their land, said an official.
This year, as many as 350 farmers farmed the variety on over 200 bighas of land in the upazila amid much enthusiasm and the harvest of the variety has been continuing for two months, he added.
Dilip Kumar, a farmer of Hamindapur village under Jamalpur union of the upazila, said he farmed the summer bottle gourd on two bighas of land in April last taking suggestions from the officials of upazaila agriculture office.
Within two months, all the plants of the summer gourd went into flowering stage and after 10 days he started harvest the variety with much eagerness, he said.
Till July, he earned TK 70,000 through selling summer bottle gourd to the customers; he said adding that he was expecting to earn more TK 30,000 from the farming during the current season while the cost of the farming was only Tk 20,000.
Upazila agriculture officer Obaidur Rahman Mondal said at first, the farmers were not interested to farm the summer bottle gourd as they thought gourd was produced only in winter season.
Deputy Director of DAE AKM Ruhul Amin said all credit went to the farmers and the officials of upazila agriculture office as they successfully produced the summer bottle gourd in the upazila astonishing all.
As the summer bottle gourd farming has ushered in new hope to the farmers of the upazila, initiative had been taken to expand its farming in other upazilas of the district in next seasons to meet the demand of vegetable and make the growers self-reliant, he concluded.