The farmers produced 66,886 tonnes of onion after completing its harvest last week in all five districts of Rangpur agriculture region during the just-ended Rabi season, reports BSS.
Officials of the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) said onion production started increasing every year following various pragmatic steps taken by the government in recent years.
“The produced quantity of 66,886 tonnes of onion is higher by 4,213 tonnes than the production of 62,673 tonnes during the previous Rabi season,” Horticulture Specialist of the DAE at its regional office Khondker Md. Mesbahul Islam told BSS on Friday.
The DAE had fixed a target of producing 75,548 tonnes of onion from 6,868 hectares of land for Rangpur, Gaibandha, Kurigram, Nilphamari and Lalmonirhat districts in the region this season.
“However, farmers had finally cultivated the spicy crop on 6,142 hectares of land, less by 726 hectares than the fixed farming target in the region this time,” Islam said.
Of them, farmers had cultivated onion in 1,920 hectares of land in Rangpur, 770 hectares in Gaibandha, 1,265 hectares in Kurigram, 769 hectares in Lalmonirhat and 1,391 hectares of land in Nilphamari districts of Rangpur agriculture region.
The farmers finally produced 24,190 tonnes of onion in Rangpur, 8,020 tonnes in Gaibandha, 11,870 tonnes in Kurigram, 14,049 tonnes in Nilphamari and 8757 tonnes of onion in Lalmonirhat districts.
“The achieved onion yield rate stood at 10.89 tonnes against the targeted yield rate of 11 tonnes of onion per hectare this time while the achieved yield rate of onion stood at 9.89 tonnes per hectare during the previous Rabi season,” he said.
Talking to BSS, Deputy Director of DAE at its regional office Md. Moniruzzaman said farmers are expanding onion cultivation after getting government assistance leading them to get repeated bumper production with lucrative price in recent years.
The steps include distribution of high quality seed, disbursement of easy-term agri-loans at lower interest rates, providing training, technical assistance and inputs under various programmes.
“The DAE is providing necessary training and technologies to farmers under the third phase of the production, preservation and distribution of high quality pulse, oil and spicy crops project to popularise onion farming among them,” Moniruzzaman added.
Besides, farmers are cultivating both winter and summer varieties of onion in recent years further increasing output of the spicy commodity reducing its import from abroad every year.
Agriculturist Dr Md. Abdul Mazid, who got the Independence Award 2018 Medal (food security) last year, said the northern region has a huge potential to increase onion output by ensuring proper crop diversification, land management and using latest technologies.
He appreciated the Spices Research Institutes and other agriculture-related research institutions for working intensively to evolve more high yielding varieties of onion to further raise its production to meet local demand without imports.
Vegetables’ retailer Hafizur Rahman and Aminul Haque at Rangpur City Bazar kitchen market said newly harvested onion is currently being sold at rates between Taka 23 and 27 per kg depending on varieties and quality in the local markets.
“The market price of onion was between Taka 18 and Taka 22 per kg even a week ago in the local markets. But, suddenly, the price marked a rise by Taka 5 per kg on an average ahead of the holy month of Ramadan,” Hafizur added.
However, vegetables’ retailer Fazlur Rahman at Keranipara Kitchen market here hoped
that onion price would remain
stable during the holy month of Ramadan.