GAIBANDHA, Nov 27: The Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) has taken up a plan to prepare seedbed on at least 7,500 hectares of land by sowing over 5,250 tonnes of seed in the district this season.
Sources said over 1, 21,258 hectares of land would be brought under Boro paddy cultivation this year with a production target of at least 4,90,000 tonnes.
To make the programme a success, high quality Boro seeds like BRRI Dhan-28 and BRRI Dhan-29 are being distributed to the farmers at reasonable rates through BADC and other private firms approved by Seed Certification Agency.
Besides, many of the farmers have taken preparation to make seedbeds by sowing their own seed not depending on BADC and local markets as they received training on seed preservation from the field-level DAE officials.
A section of unscrupulous and dishonest traders are doing brisk business during the peak season of Boro seedbed preparation. Many shops have been flooded with fake and sub standard Boro seed in attractive packets inscribed with seed related speeches to sell those to the illiterate farmers.
In this context, the DAE officials suggested the farmers not to purchase those fake and substandard seed from the shops except BADC and government approved dealers, sources said.
Deputy director of DAE AKM Ruhul Amin said the field-level sub-assistant agriculture officers were instructed to motivate the farmers so that no growers could be cheated by buying fake and sub-standard seeds from the dishonest traders.
Insufficiency of seeds hits potato farming in Bogra
Our Bogra correspondent adds: Potato farmers of the district have become worried as the prices of quality potato seeds are soaring fast.
Farmers claimed that the prices of seed would come down from the last week if Bangladesh Agriculture Development Corporation (BADC) provided adequate seeds among the growers.
Source said farmers of the 12 upazilas here will bring around 62,000 hectares of land under potato cultivation this season. For this, they need over 90,000 tonnes of seed but the authority concerned has provided 20,000 tonnes only. In this situation, the cultivators have to purchase the vast amount of seeds from different companies at high rates.
Farmers said the DAE provided adequate fertilisers and other necessary inputs at the beginning of the winter season. But now, the farmers say, a big amount of money is needed to purchase the quality seeds.
Besides, per hectare production cost of the necessary kitchen item will be Tk 50,000 to Tk 55,000, the sources added.
The farmers of the area generally cultivate three varieties of potato - astratic, cardinal and diamond.
"I have brought one hectare of land under cardinal potato cultivation this season spending Tk 54,000 with an expectation to make a profit of Tk 0.1 million", said Saiful Islam, a farmer of Gunaher village under Dupchanchia Upazila. "Per maund of cardinal potato seed is being sold at Tk 1200 to Tk 1400", he added.
Sub-assistant agriculture officer Faridur Rahman said farmers have been purchasing quality potato seeds from the last week spending a large amount of money as the seeds were not adequately distributed by the DAE.