Recently I read a news item in one of our national English language dailies that farmers have achieved success and self-sufficiency by cultivating kashful (reed) at Paikpara village under Kaliganj upazila of Jhenaidah district. Member of the grass family-poaceae, kashpul or common reed grows in wetlands. Kashpul plants are used for thatching roofs and to make roofs of betel leaf orchard. In Bangladesh, it occupies a special position in culture and literature.
Meanwhile, it is good that Bangladeshi farmers are growing less popular crops for gaining profit. Many uncommon crops are entering into Bangladesh's agriculture. But I am afraid that this trend may create a negative impact on growing our major crops which sustains our food security. It is unfortunate that farmers do not get fair price when they produce bumper crops. There is the lack of storage and processing facilities. Often farmers have to destroy their crops finding no way to sell or store.
I strongly feel that the government as well as international development agencies should take special project to improve marketing and distribution of agricultural produces in Bangladesh.
Prof M Zahidul Haque
Department of Agricultural Extension & Information System Sher-e-Bangla Agricultural University, Dhaka