Due to the lack of work, once the people of northern region had to spend leisure time. As a result, manga(lack of food) prevailed here most of the year. But Manga was won over by the peasants of the north due to the recent development of agriculture scene in the region.
Agriculture in the north also changed as part of the change. Agriculture no longer means just crop production. Besides improving crop productivity, many educated and energetic young entrepreneurs are getting involved in vegetable, fish, poultry, cattle, flower and fruit production. After working abroad for some time and collecting some capital, many energetic expatriates are returning to this region and are building various enterprises including fish farming, malta garden, dragon fruit, flower farming, chicken, turkey, goat, cow farms. Seeing them, other educated youths are also turning to agriculture. It is because of them that agriculture today stands as one of the most promising sectors for enterprising entrepreneurs. This investment environment has been created for educated youth to engage in new agriculture. Prime Minister is allocating additional budget to agriculture sector in every budget. As part of Smart Bangladesh, she has been providing multifaceted policy support for mechanization, digitalization of payment systems and supply channels to boost the rural economy.
Most of the people from Rangpur, Nilphamari, Kurigram, Lalmonirhat in the north were heading to Dhaka, Comilla, Chittagong for work. Now the scenario is changing.
Some youths are changing their unemployment, inspiring others. Sohail Ahmad, a youth of Dharmapal Union of the upazila, started commercial fish farming by taking loans from different places.
Currently he has 4 other ponds including a large pond on 37 percent of his land. He is making several lakhs of rupees every year by farming fish in the area.
Sohail says, 'I am profitable from commercial fish farming. Now I am happy with my family. My future plan is to expand the fish farm further. I took this step not just hoping for a job. Seeing me, now the youth of the area are creating self-employment by farming fish.'
An entrepreneur is changing the image of an Upazila. Jaldhaka Upazila Fisheries Officer Lisma Hasan upon asking, said - The number of commercial fish farming ponds is increasing day by day. The climate and soil here are suitable for fish farming, due to which fish production is good here. We have been providing full cooperation with all kinds of suggestions to encourage the fish farmers in fish farming.
But maize added a new dimension to the region's agricultural economy. Maize kernels are used as human food and maize plants and green leaves are used as high-quality cattle fodder. Maize is also in considerable demand as poultry and fish feed. Moreover, corn plants have a different value as fuel.
Once upon a time the people of Char area lived in hardship without food. But over the past few years the face of Char area has changed. Cultivation of corn in sandy areas has changed their life. Half-baked houses have been erected in the villages instead of thatched houses. Now they don't have to go without food.
There are many chars rising on the chest of Teesta river. Cultivation of various types of crops is going on in that pasture.
Corn cultivation costs about 8-10 thousand Tk per bigha. The yield of maize is 35-40 mounds per bigha. 600-700 Tk can be achieved by selling a mound of corn in the market.
In Gangachra of Rangpur district, maize is being cultivated in about 23 large and small pastures of Teesta. Last year, 23 thousand 45 hectares of land was cultivated in this Upazila. This year, the amount of land for corn cultivation has increased by about six thousand hectares. Every year the farmers are abandoning tobacco cultivation and turning towards maize cultivation.
Obaidur Rahman Mandal, Deputy Director of Rangpur Agricultural Extension Department, said that agriculture is the main driving force of Bangladesh's economy. Apart from the conventional agriculture i.e. paddy and jute cultivation, various sub-sectors of agriculture such as fish farming, poultry farming, animal husbandry, dairy farming, besides the year-round vegetable and fruit cultivation have been widely spread. As a result of this, the rural economy of the northern region has been boosted as well as job creation for many unemployed people.
Due to the global corona epidemic, many young people have lost their jobs in the last two years and have left the city and come to the village to become self-reliant by farming fish, poultry farms or cattle farms. Apart from this, commercial cultivation of vegetables and various fruits is playing an important role in rural economic infrastructure. Apart from this, many mothers and sisters of the village are contributing greatly to the economy by raising additional income by rearing poultry, rearing cows and goats, rearing sheep, rearing turkeys, growing fruits, vegetables etc. in the backyard. This is how the economy of Rangpur division is getting stronger.