The farmers produced 63,936 tonnes of wheat after completing its harvest last week in all five districts under Rangpur agriculture region during the just-ended Rabi season.
Officials of the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) here told BSS a target of producing 78,418 tonnes of wheat from 23,763 hectares of land was fixed for the region this time.
“The farmers had finally cultivated wheat on 19,810 hectares of land, 3,953 hectares less than the fixed farming target of the cereal crop this season,” Horticulture Specialist of the DAE at its regional office Khondker Md. Mesbahul Islam said.
Of them, 1,610 hectares of land were brought under wheat farming in Rangpur, 3,230 hectares in Gaibandha, 8,200 hectares in Kurigram, 1,440 hectares in Lalmonirhat and 5,330 hectares of land in Nilphamari districts this season in the region.
“After completing harvest, farmers produced 63,936 tonnes of wheat, less by 14,482 tonnes than the fixed production target this season,” Islam said.
The fixed wheat farming target could not be achieved following various reasons like enhancing cultivation of potato, maize, vegetables and other Rabi crops on more land by farmers.
“Besides, farmers are showing less interest in farming wheat following spread of blast disease that reduced wheat yield rates in recent years,” Islam said adding that the market price of newly harvested wheat stands at Taka 25 per kg now on an average.
The average yield rate of wheat stood at 3.23 tonnes per hectare following cultivation of high yielding wheat varieties like ‘Bijoy’, ‘Pradip’, ‘Sotabdhi’ and other wheat varieties evolved by Bangladesh Agriculture Research Institute (BARI), Islam added.
Deputy Director of the DAE at its regional office Md Moniruzzaman said there was no recurrence of blast disease this time and farmers got excellent yield rate of wheat despite shortfall in the fixed farming target in the region.
He suggested farmers for expanding cultivation of less irrigation water consuming cereal crops like blast-disease resistant varieties of wheat and maize to reduce pressure on underground water and improve ecology and environment.
Talking to BSS, farmers Komar Uddin, Bashir Hossain, Akmal Mian and Nasir Uddin of different villages here expressed satisfaction over excellent yield rate of wheat and its present market price between Taka 980 and 1,000 per mound (every 40-kg).
To avoid risks of blast attacks on growing wheat plants, they preferred to cultivate maize on more land for its better yield rate and lucrative price in local markets round the year, the farmers mentioned.
Rangpur Regional Controller of Food Mohammad Raihanul Kabir said the official procurement of wheat at Taka 28 per kg already began in all eight district of Rangpur division, including five districts of Rangpur region, from April 1 last.
“We have fixed a target of procuring 11,788 tonnes of wheat from Rangpur division and the procurement process will continue till June 30 next,” he said adding that open market price of wheat might mark a little rise from the next week.