Farmers in the district are getting interested in commercial cultivation of arum (kochu in Bangla) as the vegetable requiring low production cost brings good profit.
It is cultivated mostly in Madhupur, Ghatail, Delduar, Nagarpur, Sakhipur and Sadar upazilas.
Different varieties of kochu including mukhi kochu, pani kochu, BARI pani kochu-1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 and panchmukhi kochu, were cultivated on 757 hectares of land in the district this year and the yield is 16,690 tonnes, said Shariful Islam, sub-assistant agriculture officer of the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) in Tangail.
Of it, 13,222 tonnes of panchamukhi kochu was produced on 505 hectares of land, 2,245 tonnes of pani kochu on 193 hectares, and 1,223 tonnes of mukhi kochu on 59 hectares, he said.
The production rate of pani kochu was 11.63 tonnes per hectare of land, panchamukhi kochu 26.18 tonnes and mukhi kochu 20.82 tonnes, he added.
There is a variety of BARI pani kochu-1, which is popularly known as lotiraj, said Mahmudul Hasan, upazila agriculture officer in Madhupur.
A few ordinary varieties of kochu including maan kochu and faan kochu are also gown in small amount of lands, said agriculture officials.
Several kochu growers said they got interested in the cultivation as it is more profitable than paddy and other crops.
A kg of pani kochu is sold at Tk 20 to Tk 25, panchamukhi kochu at Tk 30 to Tk 35 and mukhi kochu at Tk 25 to Tk 30, they said.
“I cultivate kochu as its production cost is lower than other crops and profit is high. Besides, the crop sees fewer diseases and there no need to use pesticides,” said Abdul Mannan of Chowbaria in Sadar upazila.
Another advantage of kochu cultivation is that it can be grown as an associate crop with others like banana and pineapple, said kochu cultivator Ramendra Barmon of Bekerkona in Madhupur.
Kochu production in the district sees a gradual rise every year as farmers are getting interested in its commercial cultivation, said Abdur Razzak, deputy director of DAE in Tangail.
The vegetable is rich in vitamins and calcium which can prevent different diseases in human body, he added.