Fresh areas in the district have been targeted for tobacco farming during this current season as different tobacco companies allure the growers with payment of fair price of their produce.
To encourage the farmers to cultivate tobacco on fresh lands in five upazilas, especially Aditmari upazila, they have been given seeds free of cost and assured of purchase of their produce from their doors at fair prices by the tobacco companies, said the growers.
Farmer Afzal Hossain of Jamirtari village in Aditmari upazila said he has prepared tobacco seedbeds on 20 decimals of land to cultivate on two acres of land this year.
“I have been given seed free of cost for farming tobacco and the tobacco company also assured me of giving fertiliser free of cost,” he said.
Another farmer Rashedul Alam of Kakina village in Kaliganj upazila said “Tobacco company's representatives assured us that we will get fair price by selling the cultivated tobacco.”
Azgar Ali of Baninagar village in Kaliganj said he has prepared five seedbeds on 12 decimals of land to cultivate tobacco on eight bighas of land this year, while it was five bighas last year.
Sources of different tobacco companies in Lalmonirhat said 20,000 acres of land have been brought under tobacco cultivation this year which was 10,000 acres last year.
Tobacco farming is increasing in the areas as the farmers are getting different facilities from the companies, said the sources.
Aditmari Upazila Agriculture Officer Ali Noor said they never encourage farmers to grow tobacco as it is harmful for soil, environment and human health.
As the soil in the district is suitable for tobacco farming, tobacco companies always provide support to farmers for encouraging them to cultivate the item. Due to this, a good number of farmers are engaged in the cultivation.