GAIBANDHA, Nov 25: Speakers at a function here on Wednesday underscored the need for farming climate resilient and eco-friendly orange-fleshed sweet potato (OFSP) as a safe food on their land at larger scale to ensure food security.
They also expressed the view that the OFSP is an important source of beta-carotene, carbohydrates, fiber and a cheaper source of vitamin A for children and breast-feeding mothers.
They made the remarks while addressing a gathering of farmers at Gunbhari village under Fulchhari upazila in the district on Wednesday noon on the importance of OFSP as a cash crop and how to make its farming here a grand success during the current
International Potato Centre (CIP), Bangladesh arranged the function in partnership with Brac under SUSTAIN Project funded by UKAID in cooperation with Bangladesh Agriculture Research Institute and Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE).
Field Coordinator of CIP Bangladesh Enamul Haque, CIP personnel M. Monower Hossain, Programme Officer Ramzan Ali, Senior Branch Manager of Brac Golam Azam and Journalist Sarker M. Shahiduzzaman addressed the function, among others.
As the soil of the district is very suitable for farming OFSP, the flood-affected farmers could earn economical profit by farming the variety on their loamy land with minimum labour and irrigation cost and in a short time, they said.
Terming the OFSP as the safe food, the speakers said no pesticides were used to produce the root of OFSP as it grows under the earth and the variety could be harvested within 120 days after vine transplantation.
As the nutrition value of the OFSP is very high and it can play significant role in changing the socio-economic condition of the growers, the farmers were suggested to farm the variety in a large scale in coming season to attain the cherished goals, they added.
Sector leader of CIP Bangladesh Dr. Shofiur Rahman said the main objective of the OFSP farming is to help the growers make economical profit to be self-dependent and meet up the gradually increasing demands of nutrition in the country.
To empower the poor women in rural areas and remove the gender discrimination from the society through involving themselves in income-generating activities is another objective of the project,
A total of 380 bighas of land owned by 2500 marginal and flood-affected farmers of Fulchhari and Sadar upazilas here were brought under OFSP farming during the current season for the first time under a pilot programme, said an official of the project.