Growers busy in producing vegetable saplings on floating seedbed
Farmers in Pirojpur and Barisal are passing busy time in growing vegetable saplings on floating seedbeds.
The innovative method, locally called Dhap, started around two months ago and will continue till October.
But, compared to the previous years, the production cost has increased a bit this year.
Currently, saplings of different vegetables like bottle gourd, pumpkin, chili, papaya, bean and many more are produced in the marshland of Pirojpur's Nazirpur and Nesarabad upazila and Barisal's Banaripara upazila.
These saplings are later taken to different areas across the country by boats, trawlers and trucks.
"Previously we used to buy a 180-feet-long floating seedbed at Tk 10,000, but this year we are paying Tk 3,000 more for the same," farmer Jakir Hossain said.
Another farmer Mohammad Mamun said beside the seedbed price, wages of day labourers' has also increased.
"This year we are paying Tk 200 more for a farm labourer," Mamun said.
Meanwhile, a number of farmers said production of saplings has been hampered a bit due to low water level in the marshland.
"If there is not enough water, farmers cannot tend the saplings properly as they have to depend on boat for the work," farmer Rezaul Karim said.
One of the sapling traders Bakir Hossain said at present each sapling is being sold between Tk 5 to Tk 8, depending on its variety, to the wholesalers.
Wholesalers can hardly make a profit of Tk 2 to Tk 3 by selling those to the retailers, Bakir added.
Starting from June, production of vegetable saplings continues for the next four to five months, the farmer said.
Contacted, Pirojpur Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) Deputy Director Nazrul Islam Sikder said they are working with the farmers to increase the quantity of the saplings produced in the marshland.
The area of cultivable land is gradually increasing every year," he added.