Maize cultivation is increasing in Ishwardi upazila of Pabna. According to the officials of the local Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) office, the interest of the farmers in cultivating maize, one of the most lucrative crops after rice and wheat, is increasing day by day.
Due to the good weather, the maize farmers are hoping to get good yield and price for the maize this time.
According to the Upazila Agriculture Officer's Office, maize is being planted on the flat lands of the municipal and union areas of the upazila as the fertile soil of the area is suitable for maize cultivation. The cultivation of this food crop is increasing every year here.
Local farmers cultivate maize on 55 hectares of land every year during Rabi season from October to March and 15 hectares of land during Kharip season from March to June. Bari-1, Bari-2 and Supershine varieties are more cultivated in Ishwardi.
Of the seven unions of the upazila, Sara, Ladhikunda, Sahapur, Salimpur and Dashuria unions have the highest rate of maize cultivation. However, the highest amount of maize is grown in the chhar lands of Sara Union in the upazila.
Talking to some farmers involved in maize cultivation, it was learnt that farmers cultivate maize on the same land in two phases during a season. Maize planting starts from October 16 of Rabi season and matures by March 15. Maize becomes fully grown in four to four and a half months of planting.
If desired, the farmer can cultivate maize again on the same land in the second phase. Wholesellers bought the maize while they are still in the field or the farmers themselves cut the corn from the field and sell it in the market after threshing. One Bigha of land can produce 24 to 30 mounds of maize, they added.
Jewel Rana Sagar, a maize farmer from Umir village in the municipal area of Ishwardi upazila, said he has planted maize on one bigha of land this year instead of planting paddy and maskalai pulse. It has cost him Tk 10 to 12 thousand. He said that according to the previous yield, about 30 mounds of maize can be collected from the field. The market price of for that would be around Tk 24 thousand. His profit will be about Tk 12 to 14 thousand.
Abdul Latif, Upazila Agriculture Officer, said that the cultivation of maize is increasing in Ishwardi as a food crop as it is profitable and in demand. Maize cultivation can be done throughout the year even though there is Rabi and Kharif seasons from October to March and March to June.
This year, maize has been planted on a total of 70 hectares of land in the upazila. Rabi season is the pick season of corn farming. Due to its potential and profitability, the cultivation of maize is increasing in the fertile soil including the char areas. The Department of Agriculture is cooperating with the farmers to create interest in maize cultivation.