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Rajshahi farmers happy with maize yield, prices

Both yield and market price have delighted the grassroots farmers as the cash crop is being judged as profitable one in the region, including its vast Barind tract, for the last couple of years.

 Currently, the farmers are passing their busy times in harvesting, threshing and selling of the crop and they are seen happy with the market price since the very beginning of the season.

Farmers said they are selling raw maize at Taka 900 per mound and dry maize at Taka 1,100 to 1,300 per mound in local markets. Their yield is also good and that made them happy.

Yousuf Ali, 48, a farmer of Shubhadrangi area under Bagmara Upazila, said he has been cultivating maize for around eight to nine years. At present, has expanded his acreage due to profit.

Karimul Haque, a farmer of Dharmahata village under Paba Upazila, used to cultivate Boro paddy during the last 30 years. But, this season, he has cultivated maize on 10 bighas of land instead of Boro paddy.
 
Sohrab Ali, another farmer of Bagdhani village in Paba upazila, said he is very happy with cultivating various less-water consuming crops like maize. He had to face many troubles to manage water for irrigation on boro fields but the maize cultivation takes less water.

 He said wheat cultivation on per bigha of land needs at least Taka 8,000, and the yield is 14 to 16 maunds. On the contrary, maize farming on one bigha of land needs Taka 6,500, and the yield is 20 to 25 maunds. So, he cultivated maize on 15 bighas of land this season.

 Ali got 15 to 17 mounds yield from per bigha of land and sold at Taka 600 to 650 per mound in the last harvesting season.

Mozder Hossain, Deputy Director of the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE), said they set a target of harvesting around 1.48 lakh metric tons of maize from 16,593 hectares of land in the district during the current season.

He said the farmers cultivate maize after harvesting wheat in Kharif season as they earn more profit in less time and less cost.

Some high yielding varieties, including NH-7720, NK-940, super shine-2740 and M Gold-900, have become popular among the farmers.

Meanwhile, around 62,429 tonnes of summer maize yield is expected to be harvested from 23,320 hectares of land during the current Kharip-1 season in all eight districts in Rajshahi division.

Shamsul Wadud, Additional Director of DAE, said the farmers are getting around 6.8 to 7.8 tonnes of yield from per hectare of land which is higher to some extent compared to the previous season.

He said the farmers are becoming habituated to the potato-maize-transplanted aman paddy cropping pattern because they are getting more benefit from this pattern in this region for the last couple of years.

Dr Ilias Hossain, Chief Scientific Officer of Bangladesh Wheat and Maize Research Institute (BWMRI), told BSS that maize cultivation both in rabi and kharif seasons in the region has been increasing gradually as the farmers are showing more interest in this crop cultivation.

 He said there was no scarcity of seeds this time as huge quantities of the same were distributed among the farmers and they timely completed sowing of maize seeds.

  Maize is being used in preparation of various nutritional foods like corn-well, corn-flex, poultry, fish and animal feed and fodder and in several industrial products as well.

 The demand for the crop is on the rise with the increase of the poultry and dairy farms as it contains huge Vitamin-A, he pointed out.

 Dr Hossain said maize is highly beneficial to human health if consumed, the flour prepared through crushing 70 percent wheat and 30 percent maize together.

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