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  • Wheat farming expands in Faridpur

    FARMERS in Faridpur are getting interested in wheat cultivation due to its increasing demand, high price and favourable weather. The land for wheat farming in the district has been increased significantly over the past few years. According to the Department of Agricultural Extension in Faridpur, 25,545 hectares of land have been brought under wheat cultivation this season while the figure was 20,310 hectares in the previous year. The wheat production might be about 53 thousand tonnes this season which was about 34 thousand tonnes in the previous season. In 1999-2000 season, 12,904 hectares of land were brought under wheat cultivation in the district and the production was 24,634 tonnes, according to the regional statistical office. DAE officials said in the current season cold weather and rain made a good contribution to the expected production which could increase by 5 to 10 per cent. The officials said some 10 years back the cultivation of wheat was not on a large scale in the district. In the winter, farmers used to remain satisfied with vegetables' cultivation as well as other rabi crops. A vast tract of land remained fallow. In course of time, the scenario has been changed. Dr Sirajul Islam, scientific officer of On Firm Research Division of the Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute in Faridpur, said in the last few years the land under wheat cultivation had got almost double. He attributed the increase of land to rising demand of flour in the domestic market. He also added that in the past years agriculture researchers had invented some high yielding varieties of wheat, which had become very popular to the farmers. The varieties are Sonali, Akbori, Bolaka, Waghrany, Protiva, Sourav, Shotabdi, Behari Kalyan etc. Old local varieties like Sona Digha, Kanchon, Elyas etc can no longer attract farmers with their low productivity, Dr Sirajul Islam said. Oasiul Islam, deputy director of the Faridpur DAE, said his department had tried heart and soul to ensure proper supply of fertiliser, seeds and technological support. Abdul Kuddus, a farmer of village Parchar at Machchar union in the district headquarters, said he was expecting a good harvest of wheat in the current season because of favourable weather. He also added that farmers in the area got sufficient quantity of fertiliser. The farmers said they had taken to wheat farming due to its growing demand and increasing price in the market. Besides, cultivation of wheat is very easy in comparison with many seasonal crops. In the market wheat is now selling at Tk 1,100 to 1,200 per mound which was only Tk 700 to 800 in the previous year.

  • $62.6m IDA aid to revitalise agri technology

    Bangladesh yesterday signed a loan agreement with International Development Association (IDA) under which it will receive 62.6 million US dollar to improve agricultural productivity and farm income by revitalising the national agricultural technology system. Additional ERD Secretary Mohammad Mesbahuddin and World Bank acting country director Mohamed Alhousseyni Toure signed the agreement for their respective sides at the NEC auditorium. The National Agricultural Technology Project (NATP) is designed to promote generation, dissemination, adoption and use of appropriate agricultural technologies through a number of policy reforms, institutional development and investment to support agricultural research, extension and supply chain development. The development of supply chains will focus on strengthening farmer-market linkages, knowledge management and human resources development. The credit from the IDA, the World Bank's concessionary arm, has 40 years to maturity with a 10-year grace period and carries a service charge of 0.75 percent.

  • $62.6m IDA loan to give boost to farm sector

    Bangladesh on Thursday signed a loan agreement with International Development Association under which it will receive $62.6 million to improve agricultural productivity and farm income by revitalising the national agricultural technology system. The additional ERD secretary, Mohammad Mesbahuddin, and the World Bank acting country director, Mohamed Alhousseyni Toure, signed the agreement for their respective sides at the NEC auditorium. The National Agricultural Technology Project is designed to promote generation, dissemination, adoption and use of appropriate agricultural technologies through a number of policy reforms, institutional development and investment to support agricultural research, extension and supply chain development. The development of supply chains will focus on strengthening farmer-market linkages, knowledge management and human resources development. The credit from the IDA, the World Bank's concessionary arm, has 40 years to maturity with a 10-year grace period and carries a service charge of 0.75 per cent.

  • India

    India bails out small farmers in pre-election budget

    India's Congress-led government announced on Friday a 15 billion dollars loan bailout for small farmers in a populist pre-election budget targeting the party's traditional poor rural supporters. Finance minister Palaniappan Chidambaram, releasing the budget for the year starting April 1 as India's blistering economic growth has begun to slow, announced a 600 billion rupees ($15.05b) relief plan. Some 30 million indebted farmers' loans would be fully waived and another 10 million would receive aid, said Chidambaram, who presented the budget ahead of nine state elections slated this year followed by national polls in early 2009. He pledged to wrestle down the fiscal deficit and tame inflation. But the lack of any big corporate incentives along with the debt giveaway dismayed the stock market which tumbled nearly 1.4 per cent.

  • Fertiliser crisis affects Boro in Kishoeganj

    Farmer Shamsul Huq said he went to Alongjury union of Itna upazila eight times but did not get any fertiliser. He lanted Boro in four acres of land in Dhuldia Beel in Itna upazila, which need fertiliser now. He did not get any fertiliser as he is not on the list in Alongjury union because he is a resident of nearby Karimganj upazila with lands in the Bhuldia Beel. Aminul Islam, a teacher of Alongjury Government Primary School in Itna said he got only 600 kilograms of urea against a requirement of 1100 kgs for his 12 acres of Boro land. He also needs at least 600 kg TSP but got only 60 kgs, he told this correspondent during a recent visit to Boro fields in Haor areas. Same is the situation in other haor areas in Kishoreganj district. This correspondent talked to at least 50 farmers who said they are not getting required quantities of fertiliser due to short supply and alleged mismanagement in distribution. They alleged that they may miss their production targets for the third consecutive year, mainly due to fertiliser crisis now. Boro is the lone food crop in Kishoreganj Haor areas. The crop was damaged in last two seasons due to flood and 'cold injury' during winter. In Bhairab upazila, farmers at a recent press conference at the local press expressed resentment over fertiliser crisis. They were cooled down by the Upazila Nirbahi Officer by assuring adequate supply of the input. About 500 farmers from Abdullahpur union in Austogram upazila in an application to Kishorganj Deputy Commissioner Sultan Ahmed alleged that they did not get any fetiliser in January and that their Boro crops are being affected now for this. Transplantation of Boro seedlings in Haor areas started in January but many farmers did not get any fetiliser till now, they alleged. Farmers alleged that the crisis was created mainly due to mismanagement in distribution process. Farmers who do not live in Haor areas have not been listed for fertiliser, they said. The Agriculture Extension Department (AED) made lists of farmers in Haor areas in May and June when landowners living elsewhere were not included, they said. During the visit, it was found that at least 407 acres of Boro land owned by Jirati farmers were deprived of fertiliser only in Alongjury union of Itna upazila. Farmers having land in Haor areas living elsewhere are locally called Jirati. AED block supervisor in Alongjury union Md. Pabon Ali also acknowledged that many farmers were not on the lists prepared in May and June. AED sources said that in last season Boro production target in six haor upazilas was 4,07,598 tonnes but the yielded was 3,02,558 tonnes. A total of 1, 58,567 hectors of land were brought under Boro cultivation in the district this year. Farmers said, they may not get the targeted production this year also if the fertiliser crisis is not resolved right now. Deputy Director Abdul Baten of Kishoreganj AED however said there was no crisis of fertilier in the district. Other AED sources said they got 38,422 tonnes of urea against the demand for 42,669 tonnes. They howver said Jirati farmers were being listed for fertiliser. There is no sanction for Jirati farmers but they are terying to manage fertiliser for them, the officials said.

  • Hailstorm damages huge crops in Gaibandha

    A violent hailstorm, accompanied by rains, yesterday hit Sadar upazila of the district, leaving 13 people injured and over 200 houses damaged. Locals said the hailstorm that struck at about 6:30pm also damaged standing crops on a vast track of land during its fury. The 13 people, including five children, were injured as their thatched houses collapsed during the storm. Kamarjani, Kunderpara, Prodhaner Bazar, Jhakurer Bhita, Goghat, Kharjani, Dariapur, Karaibari, Counciler Bazar and Nayagai were among the worst affected 19 villages in the hailstorm.

  • Food prices rising relentlessly

  • Paddy farming faces setback as Pabna farmers cry for rain

    IRRI-boro paddy cultivation in Pabna is facing a setback because of a drought-like situation for lack of rain. The farmers are now crying for rain.

  • CS Karim stresses research to boost fish production

  • Specific policy for hazardous waste management stressed

    Environment experts at a workshop in the city yesterday underlined the need for formulating a specific policy to manage industrial hazardous waste properly for ensuring sustainable and environment-fri

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