Farmers of Pirojpur Sadar upazila are growing seasonal vegetables without ploughing the land that would lie unused after harvesting Aman paddy, and are making good profit.
For the last four years, farmers of Jujkhola village under Sikder Mollic union in the upazila have been doing it after Kalipado Sikder of the village started it. They grow different types of vegetables, including potato, cabbage and different varieties of spinach.
To grow vegetables farmers do not have to pay much for labour. After collecting Aman paddy, the lands remain soft. They sow the seeds and plant tender vegetable plants of different varieties there and keep them covered with straw. Within a few days, the plants come out from the straw.
“After harvesting Aman paddy, our lands would remain barren for the rest of the year,” said Joydeb Majumder, a farmer of the village, adding that they can now grow seasonal vegetables there without ploughing the land. It needs around Tk 3,000 to plough a bigha of land, but the innovative system saves ploughing cost and also irrigation cost, he added.
“As the land remains wet and soft after collecting Aman paddy, it needs little irrigation for growing vegetables,” said Sanjoy Majumder, adding that they need to buy seeds and plants, fertilizer and pesticides.
“Following the cultivation system, we are earning extra money,” said farmer Susen Sikder, adding that they are sending the vegetables to nearby areas after meeting local demand. After meeting all the expenses, farmers can make profit of around Tk 20,000 from one bigha of land.
Although only a few farmers practiced this cultivation system in the beginning, their number is increasing every year, said local farmers.
This year, vegetables have been cultivated under this system on around 10 hectares of land at Jujkhola village, which was five hectares last year, said Sadar Upazila Sub-Assistant Agriculture Officer Abdullah Al Mehedi.
“We give technical support to the farmers for growing quality vegetables through this cultivation system,” he said.