Published: Monday, April 8, 2013

Wheat farmers upbeat for bumper yield, fair price

Bumper yield and good price of wheat have brought smiles to the farmers of eight northern districts under Rangpur Agriculture Zone this year. A woman is seen harvesting wheat on a field at Akcha village under Thakurgaon Sadar upazila. Photo: Star

Bumper yield and good price of wheat have brought smiles to the farmers of eight northern districts under Rangpur Agriculture Zone this year. A woman is seen harvesting wheat on a field at Akcha village under Thakurgaon Sadar upazila. Photo: Star

The area of cultivation as well as per hectare yield of wheat have gone well over the target set by the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) in different districts of the country this season.
Farmers in eight northern districts of Rangpur Agriculture Zone are happy with bumper yield and good prices of wheat in the current season, reports our Thakurgaon correspondent.
DAE officials have attributed the success to favourable weather condition and efforts by the department.
During the peak harvest period, a maund (37.32 kg) of wheat is selling for Tk 800 to Tk 850 in the local markets while the government has fixed its procurement price at Tk 25 per kg.
The DAE set wheat production target at 2.8 tonnes per hectare but over 3.00 tonnes of wheat is likely to be reaped from per hectare in the agriculture zone, said Khondakar Mesbaul Islam, horticulturist specialist of Rangpur DAE.
About one lakh 25,130 hectares of land have been bought under wheat cultivation against the target of one lakh 8,423 hectares with the production target of three lakh 3,584 tonnes in Rangpur Agriculture Zone, said DAE officials of Rangpur.
District-wise, the areas of wheat cultivation are 60,500 hectares in Thakurgaon, 16,550 hectares in Panchagarh, 20,425 hectares in Dinajpur, 4,615 hectares in Nilphamari, 3,260 hectares in Rangpur, 3,385 hectares in Gaibandha, 15,085 hectares in Kurigram and 1,310 hectares in Lalmonirhat.
Many farmers, who incurred losses due to low market prices of aman and Irri-boro paddy during the last two years, have opted for wheat farming this season.
“I have decided to cultivate wheat on one acre of land considering its growing demand and reasonable price. I have harvested 42 maunds of wheat and sold it at Tk 830 per maund. After recovering the production cost of around Tk 15,000, I have made a profit Tk 19,000,” said Amzad Hossain, 42, of Bothina village in Thakurgaon Sadar upazila.
Cultivation of wheat, requiring only three times irrigation, is much easier and less costly than that of Irri-boro paddy, said Sazzad Selim of Roseya village in Atwari upazila of Panchagarh.
Prolonged winter and timely irrigation help wheat plants in the area to grow fast, said Dr Dinabandhu Pandit, principal scientific officer of Wheat Research Centre (WRC) in Dinajpur.
WRC has developed two new high yielding varieties of wheat BARI-26 and BARI-27 that are gaining popularity among the farmers, he said.
Other high yielding varieties of wheat cultivated in the region are shatabdi, prodeep, shourav, bijoy and gourab.
The wheat produced in the country meets around one-third of the yearly domestic demand of about 30.35 lakh tonnes, WRC officials said.
Our Pabna Correspondent reports: Farmers of the district cultivated wheat on 39,073 hectares of land against the DAE’s target of 33,521 hectares and got bumper yield of the winter crop this season.
“We are expecting 1.44 lakh tonnes of wheat production against the target of 93,858 tonnes in the district as the recent report shows of 3.7 tonnes of harvest per hectare on an average,” said AI Shahin, a development officer of Pabna DAE.
“According to the present market price, a farmer gets Tk 85 to 90 thousand by selling the wheat produced from a hectare of land while the production cost stood at Tk 62 to 65 thousand this season,” he added.
The ongoing harvest will continue till mid-April, DAE sources said.
Our Narail Correspondent adds:
Wheat harvesting started in the district early March as favourable weather, timely irrigation and availability of fertiliser at fair price have helped wheat plants to grow fast, said agriculture officials and farmers.
Farmers and agricultural officials in the district are expecting a bumper production of wheat in the current season.
The farmers in Narail district have cultivated wheat on 3,415 hectares of land against the DAE’s target of 2,803 hectares while last year it was cultivated on 2,740 hectares, DAE officials said.