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Monday, February 4, 2013
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Mustard becoming a crop of choice in several districts

Farmers say the winter crop is now more profitable

A mustard field at Moheshpur upazila in Jhenidah district is in bloom. The winter crop sees widespread cultivation in several districts as farmers are gaining good profit due to its fair price.Photo: STAR

Farmers in several districts are upbeat, as they hope to have a bumper harvest of mustard this year.

The four upazilas of Jhalakathi are expecting higher yield of the winter crop than the target, mainly due to selection of better seeds.

The growers cultivated the high yielding varieties of mustard in their crop fields instead of the local varieties.

They chose BARI 14 and 15 high-yielding variety mustard seeds with a high hope of harvesting two tonnes of mustard per hectare, sources said.

Earlier, the farmers in the district had cultivated the local variety mustard in their lands and got yield below one tonne per hectare.

But they have opted for the new varieties as the market price of the oil produced from those is higher.

Officials at the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE), Jhalakathi have encouraged them to go for the new varieties, farmers said.

Khalilur Rahman, a farmer at Alkadia village in Sadar upazila, said that he used BARI-14 mustard seed in his one acre land.

"I hope to have a bumper harvest," he said.

DAE official Chinmoy Roy expressed his satisfaction after visiting the crop fields in the area.

Farmers of the district are expecting an yield of two tonnes of mustard per hectare this year because of opting for the new varieties, he said.

In Bogra, mustard cultivation changed the lot of many farmers in the last few years, reports our correspondent.

The targeted land for the winter crop is increasing every year as farmers now believe that mustard cultivation is more profitable than many other crops.

Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) sources said that this year 27,690 hectares of land were brought under mustard cultivation in all the 12 upazilas of the district.

The area is over 6,000 hectares more than the target.

The sources further said that mustard was cultivated on 20,890 hectares of land producing 27,750 metric tons in 2011 while it was cultivated on 18,374 hectares giving an yield of 25,432 metric tons in 2010 in the district.

Farmers of Sariakandi and Dhunat upazilas made lucrative business as they cultivated it greatly after incurring loss in Aman paddy during the recent flood.

Similar reports of extensive cultivation of the winter crop have also been reported by our correspondents in Jhenidah and Madaripur.

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