NILPHAMARI, Nov 30: The Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE), Nilphamari has fixed a target to produce over 12,525 tonnes of wheat from 4,116 hectares of land this season.
Sources said farmers of the district are showing more interest in farming wheat this season after getting a bumper production with lucrative prices last year. DAE, Bangladesh Agriculture Develop-ment Corporation (BADC) and other agriculture related organisations have taken adequate steps to make the programme a success.
Quality seeds, latest technology, fertilisers and other necessary inputs are being provided to the farmers for promoting the crop cultivation.
Sources said in the last few years, farmers were reluctant to cultivate wheat due to complexities in thrashing the crop from plants, non availability of thrashing devise and so on. Now the machines are available in the local markets, so the growers want to cultivate wheat in more lands.
International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center in co-operation with DAE invented high yielding seeds that consume less irrigation and are not affected by pests.
Farmers of the region mostly cultivate BARI 26, Prodip, Bijoy, Protiva, Sotabdi, Sourov, Gourab and Swarna wheat varieties.
Sources said many farmers are shifting from Boro to wheat farming as the production cost of Boro is higher but low rate in the markets.
Our correspondent from Magura adds: The DAE, Magura, has ceased to cultivate wheat in the district this season as blast disease had affected massive lands last season damaging tonnes of production.
Blast is a mushroom-borne disease. As it is contagious, the department urged the farmer not to farm the cereal this season. But defying the suggestion, farmers have already brought 950 hectares of land under wheat cultivation.
Majid Mollah, a farmer of village Harishpur under Shalikha Upazila, said, "I have brought one bigha of my land under wheat cultivation this season. I did not get any information on DAE's restriction on wheat."
Junayed Ali, another farmer of village Beroil, said DAE warned me over wheat cultivation. But as I have been cultivating wheat for years and it is profitable, I will continue it. This year I am cultivating Bari 28."
"Moreover before starting the cultivation, I purified the seeds with mushroom killing medicine. So I am expecting that my crop field won't be affected", he added.
DAE official Gobinda Dash said, "We are running campaign against wheat cultivation. We have arranged meetings and distributed leaflet among the growers to discourage them. But many of them are continuing the farming defying our restriction. However we are keeping close observation upon the wheat fields of the district and giving proper suggestion to avoid the contagious disease."