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Organic farming brings smile to Kalapara farmers


Dhaka, 28 February, 2021: Farmers in 15 villages of Nilganj union in Patuakhali's Kalapara upazila had no other choice but to produce just a single variety of crop in a year due to salinity in the cultivable land. Rest of the time of the year, they used to catch fish or work as day labourers.

But now, the scenario is different. The farmers are growing diverse crops all the year round and they are not using any chemical fertilizer or pesticide.

A tributary or canal of the Andharmanik river flows through Nilganj. Due to the salinity of the canal, a year-round cultivation of crops was not possible in the past.

In 2005, local farmers got united to conserve sweet water in the canal to cultivate their land year-round. They voluntarily built four temporary dams on the canal. As a result of conserving sweet water, the farmers of 15 villages of the union started getting huge success in vegetable cultivation alongside 'Aman'.

Shafiuddin, 70, a farmer, started cultivating year-round vegetables in Nilganj a few years ago. Following his success, the farmers of the other villages started cultivating crops all the year-round and that even without the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides.

Shafiuddin, once a sharecropper, has become the owner of 2.66 acres of land by cultivating vegetables. He has divided his land among seven sons who are now self-sufficient in vegetable cultivation.

Although traditional method of cultivation was employed in the beginning, now farmers are using modern method of cultivation.

Visiting the villages, this correspondent found that farmers cultivating different crops in makeshift greenhouses. Bombay pepper, tomato, green chilli, carrot, red spinach, batishak, spinach, coriander—all are growing inside the greenhouses.

To market the agricultural products, the farmers opened an agricultural marketing center at Pakhimara Bazar on their own initiative. It is called the 'Collection Point'.

From there, wholesalers take the produce to different upazilas and districts of the country including the capital, said Hemayet, a farmer of Kumirmara village in Kalapara upazila.

Upazila Agriculture Officer, Abdul Mannan, said about 10,275 tonnes of vegetables worth Tk 15.42 crore are being produced here every year.

"We are providing technical assistance to the farmers here," he said.

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Posted by on Feb 28 2021. Filed under News at Now, Organic agriculture. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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