RANGPUR, March 20 (BSS) - The small, marginal farmers and char people have been expanding groundnut cultivation to earn excellent profits in the northern region in recent years, officials, experts and farmers said.
According to the officials in the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE), farmers are expecting bumper groundnut production after bringing almost double land area than the fixed farming target under its cultivation this season.
The farmers have cultivated the cash crop in 15,036 hectares land against fixed target of bringing 9,786 hectares to produce 15,129 tonnes groundnut in the region during this Rabi season.
The cultivated land area is 5,250 hectares or 53.65 percent higher than the fixed farming target and the production might be around 23,246 tonnes of groundnut this season, the officials said.
Besides, landless and river-eroded people living on the Brahmaputra, Dharla, Teesta, Ghaghot and other river basins have cultivated groundnut in some 3,000 hectares of char lands where its farming has become very popular, local NGO experts said.
"The char people are getting excellent groundnut production and profits by farming the crop in the char lands," said DAE's Horticulture Specialist Khandaker Md Mesbahul Islam and Gangachara Upazila Agriculture Officer Dr Shaikhul Arefin.
Farmers Nuru Mian has cultivated groundnut in one acre land, Shahadat in 1.5 acre, Bakkar in 75 decimals, Amjad in one acre and Shariful in two acre land this season in hardly reachable Alaler Char village on the Teesta bed under Gangachara upazila.
"We generally spend Taka 10,000-12,000 for farming groundnut in one acre char land to earn a net profit of Taka 30,000 to 35,000 by producing 22 mounds of the crop per acre," the char farmers said.
Farmer Saiduzzaman of Char Biswanath village on the Teesta bed said he started groundnut farming from 1976, purchased 13 acres land, built a semi-pacca building and meets educational expenses of his three sons to lead a meaningful life now.
Agri-scientists of CSISA-BD Dr MA Mazid and Dr Syed Shamsuzzaman of RDRS Bangladesh suggested for extending more assistance to char people for further expanding groundnut cultivation in the char lands to bring fortunes to the local people.