A farmer in Jhenidah next to his crops. PHOTO: STAR
The farmers in the south-western districts of Bangladesh are going to harvest optimum yields of maize this season. Optimum production and huge demand were mainly the reasons for the expansion of the cereal crop. The Agriculture Extension Department (AED) of Jessore office source said, 75,869 hectares of maize cultivation have been brought in SW districts.
Of them, three districts out of ten have surpassed the records of the past in maize cultivation in the current season 2013-2014. Of them 47,530 hectares are in Chuadanga district, 15,994 hectares in Jhenidah and 7,355 hectares in Kushtia. Besides, there are 323 hectares in Jessore, 2 hectares in Magura, 65 hectares in Khulna, 225 hectares in Bagerhat, 150 hectares in Satkhira 4,225 hectares in Meherpur district under maize cultivation. While 481,978 MT of maize are expected to be harvested in the current season from 75,869 hectares of land from ten SW districts, the production yield might be 7.25 per hectare this year.
In 2012/13 season 64,599 hectares had been brought under maize cultivation and 8.7 M.T maize had been produced per hectare while the total production was 563,174 MT in ten districts. In 2011/12 season 60,401 hectares had been brought in SW districts while 8.0 MT had been produced per hectare and the total production was 487,774 MT. Seeds supplied by some private companies made the farmers confident in maize cultivation, said a farmer, adding that they used 900M, 900M Gold, MK 40, Pinacle and some other varieties. Farmer Bazlur Rahman of Protappur village in Jhenidah sadar uapzila said, “I am cultivating maize at the moment on all my 14 bighas of cultivable land.”
Faruk Hossain of Tarnibas village under Jibonnagar upazila in Chuadanga district said, he has cultivated maize on one acre of land this year, at the production cost of harvesting tk 24 thousand. But he is expecting to sell the output at at one lac taka or slightly more. The maize farming does not betray the farmers as it can be grown in any adverse weather.
Additional Director AGM Momtazul Karim of Department of Agriculture Extension in Jessore region said, the farmers in SW districts have earned good profits in the last few years from maize, and the demand for maize is stable as it is being used as poultry feed. Further, better prices have encouraged farmers to expand farming maize in the region. Not only is the cultivation cost less than other crops, but the risks of pest attacks are very low, Karim added.