Maize cultivation gains ground in Chuadanga

Published : 28 Mar 2024 08:34 PM

The demand for wheat has increased more than before. However, the farmers of Chuadanga are losing interest in wheat production day by day. But farmers are being encouraged to increase wheat production.

Talking to the farmers, it is known that they are not able to profit as expected in wheat cultivation. Because of this, the farmers of the district are turning to maize instead of wheat cultivation.  In the fiscal year 2016-2017 wheat blast disease occurred at a high rate in this area. The Agriculture Office has discouraged farmers from planting wheat for the three years from 2017 to 2019. Since then, farmers have turned to maize cultivation.

According to Chuadanga District Agriculture Office, after 3 years of closure, the farmers are again encouraged to plant wheat from the fiscal year 2020-2021. Since then small amount of wheat cultivation started in the district. In the current season, the target for wheat in the district is 1 thousand 68 hectares. Out of this, 51 hectares in Sadar Upazila, 690 hectares in Alamdanga Upazila, 170 hectares in Damurhuda Upazila and 157 hectares in Jibannagar Upazila.

Abul Bashar, a wheat farmer of Bishnapur village, said that every year he had cultivated wheat. In 2017, he had planted wheat on two and a half bigha lands. That year blast disease occurred in the field at a high rate. The wheat of the whole field was destroyed and he had a big loss.  Later, the Agriculture Department asked to refrain from cultivating wheat for a few years. Then he planted corn on that land. It benefits well. He has been cultivating corn since then. This year, on the advice of the Agriculture Office, he planted wheat on two and a half bigha land.  If the weather is favorable, we are expecting a good profit in wheat this year. Amirul Islam of New Bastpur village said that in the current season, we have cultivated Bari-33 varieties of wheat on 42 percent of the land. It is time to reap the wheat. They hope to get 16 to 18 maunds of wheat so far . He said that currently old wheat is being sold at a price of Tk 1600. 

If new wheat is available, the price will decrease further. He said farmers are losing interest in wheat cultivation due to lack of good seeds, shortage of labor and low yield and profit in wheat compared to other crops. Also, farmers are turning to maize as the production is higher than that of wheat.

Jibonnagar Upazila Agriculture Officer Moniruzzaman said that wheat fields of neighboring districts including Chuadanga, Meherpur were extensively affected by blast virus in 2016-17 financial year.  Since then farmers are advised to stop wheat cultivation for a few years. Now again they are advised to grow wheat. Bivas Chandra Saha, Deputy Director of the Chuadanga Agricultural Extension Department said that due to the extensive cultivation of maize in Chuadanga, wheat cultivation has decreased slightly. 

Last year wheat crop was good due to longer winter. Wheat yield is better if the winter is long. In the current season, there were about 90 days of winter.

 He hopes that the production of wheat will be good this time. He said that in the current season, about 3 thousand 755.96 metric tons of wheat will be produced in the district. Despite the incentive system for wheat cultivation, wheat cultivation is not increasing in Chuadanga due to lack of additional cultivable land.