Threshing facility benefits maize farmers
Though maize cultivation is increasing every year in the district, farmers had to face serious problems to thresh them. After getting maize threshing machine, they are very happy this year as it will lessen their hard labour in a village in Pirojpur. For the last six years, the farmers are cultivating maize at different areas in the district. But for the last two years, its cultivation has increased widely as farmers have begun to get help from some non-government organizations who are supporting farmers in many ways. Dak Diye Jai, an NGO, provided the maize threshing machine this year.
The organization distributed a maize threshing machine known as 'Maize Sheller' among the maize cultivators at Raghunathpur village in Nazirpur upazila under Pirojpur. “I am cultivating maize for last two years. We had to face difficulties to release seeds from the maize's body. But this year we have a threshing machine in our area,” said Nazrul Sikder, a farmer of Raghunathpur village who cultivated maize at one and a half acre of land. Like Nazrul, other maize cultivators of the village are happy that they now have access to a maize threshing machine. Though the machine is new to the farmers, it will spread among the maize cultivators soon widely in the district, opined the farmers.
Farmers also said as they have got maize threshing machine, more and more farmers of the district will be interested to maize cultivation. A 'Maize Sheller' machine can thresh around 15-20 maunds of maize corn in an hour, said the farmers. To cultivate an acre of land farmers had to spend TK 12,000-14,000 and they are expecting to get around 60-70 maunds of maize seeds from each acre of land this year. They sold each maund of maize seeds for TK 700 and this year they are expecting to sell each maund of maize seeds for TK 800. Because of increasing of poultry farms in the country, the demand of maize corn has increased. Farmers said wholesalers have begun to come to their houses for buying maize seeds from adjacent districts like Bagerhat and Khulna. After collecting aman paddy, the lands at different areas in the district would remain useless. After learning about maize from some NGOs like BRAC and 'Dak Diye Jai', farmers have become interested in maize cultivation.
According to the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) this year, 242 hectors of land were brought under maize cultivation, up from 166 hectors last year. Among them, 40 hectors are in Pirojpur Sadar, 150 hectors are in Nazirpur, 35 hectors are in Zianagar, eight hectors are in Mathbaria, four hectors are in Kawkhali, three hectors are at Bhandaria and two hectors are in Nesarabad upazila. 'Dak Diye Jai' office source said with the financial help of USAID, they train the farmers about maize cultivation at Sheikhmatia union of Nazirpur upazila in the district. Besides they supply high quality maize seeds to the farmers. With the help of Dak Diye Jai, 52 hectors of land were brought under maize cultivation this year.