Robi crop farming gains momentum in Rajshahi
RAJSHAHI, Jan 23: Farmers in the district are shifting to cultivating less-water consuming winter crops this Robi season.
Instead of continuing paddy on ground of not getting fair prices, most farmers have shifted to Robi crops, according to field sources.
This changing of farming preference has been caused due to low prices of paddy in the past years.
Usually, the government is used to fix price of new paddy every year. But farmers don't get fixed prices due to pricing syndication in markets. Rather, they become compelled to sell their paddy at lower rate than the government rate.
Counting losses for year after year, farmers tried other farming options. Farming potato instead of paddy has been their latest pick.
Levels of underground water in Rajshahi region decline every year. Then irrigation in paddy fields stands impossible. So, irrigation problem has also caused decreasing to paddy cultivation.
Compared to the previous seasons, farmers are now more serious about cultivating Robi crops. They are sowing mustard, wheat, potato, sweet potato, and onion. Sources in the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) in Rajshahi said, this season, a total of 1,60,458 hectares of land have been brought under Robi farming.
In Chalanda Village of Godagari Upazila, about 80 per cent farmers have cultivated Robi crops in their paddy lands.
Farmer Taskil Islam said, he did not get fair prices of paddy in last two years. He suffered irrecoverable losses. This year he has grown Robi crops to recover losses.
Deputy Assistant Agriculture Officer of Tanore Upazila Shamser Ali said, farming less-water consuming crops in Rajshahi will reduce pressure on underground water.
He added, his department is motivating farmers to cultivate crops needing less irrigation.