RANGPUR, Apr 17: The extreme poor people living in different Char (shoal) areas under Gangachara and Kawnia upazilas of the district are improving their financial condition by cultivating vegetables on a vast tract of land using 'Sandbar Cropping' technology.
Earlier, a vast tract of char lands remained uncultivated over the years but the scenario has changed now with introduction of modern technology. Presently the farmers are getting able to grow vegetables like pumpkin and squash even on fallow char lands using latest technology, sources said.
According to sources agriculture production on barren and unproductive sandbar is an innovative technology for the char people. It has shown very significant impact on the poor people in terms of food security. This technology has brought remarkable change in the life of the extreme poor living in the areas.
Practical Action Bangladesh (PAB), a UK based non-government international organisation has introduced the technology to the farmers. It is providing all kinds of technical assistances to the growers through its partner local organisations in the upazilas.
Thousands of holes are made, each no more than a metre across, dug into the sand bars. Then the holes are filled with compost. Into these, farmers are able to plant seeds, from which crops are grown, sayd Nirmol Chandra Agriculture coordinator, Practical action, Bangladesh. The extreme poor family can eat, store and also can sell the crop to make money .he added.
Mominul, a farmer of village Char Purbo Mahipur under Gangachara upazila, said the technology is a blessing for them. It has helped improve their socio-economic condition by producing pumpkin and squash even on fallow sandy lands, he added.
A good number of farmers of Shahbaz village under Kawnia upazila told FE that once they had to struggle a lot to maintain their impoverished family with their small amount of income but now they are getting able to combat poverty and are leading happy life by farming crops on fallow char lands.
According to sources, thousands of farmers are engaged in farming vegetables on the sandy char lands and thus are earning satisfactory profit.
Vegetable cultivation in char areas is playing a vital role in mitigating poverty of the people living in char areas in the district, sources added.