Use of uncultivated land likely to help agro sector boost

Published : 01 Jan 2023 08:41 PM

Agriculture is the main driving force of Kishoreganj's economy. The economy of the district is highly dependent on haor. Kishoreganj consists of seven agro-environmental zones and 13 Upazilas. Itna, Mithamoin and Aushtagram Upazilas of the district are completely Haor and apart from this four-five Upazilas are partially Haor surrounded. 70 percent of people in this region are farmers. However, 10 thousand 100 hectares of land is uncultivated in this agriculture-dependent district.

Stakeholders say that a large amount of potential land remains uncultivated year after year due to lack of proper guidance at the farmer level. Stakeholders say that there is some hindrance in irrigation of the uncultivated land. 

The Haor lands are heavily silted and rise above the arable land, due to which the local farmers consider them unfit for paddy cultivation. Even the farmers here have no idea about crops other than paddy. 

Experts said that sweet pumpkin, watermelon, mustard etc. crops can be cultivated easily. And the silty fallow lands of Haor are very suitable for jute. Farmers can get success even in cultivation of mustard and coriander. They think that if these lands are made arable, the farmers will benefit as well as it will play a positive role in the economy of the district as well as the country.

According to the information of the Department of Agricultural Extension, the district has 9 thousand 739 hectares of permanent fallow land. Apart from this, 10,100 hectares of cultivable but uncultivable land is there. Due to financial crisis and lack of advice from the agriculture department, farmers are unable to cultivate these uncultivated lands even if they want to. However, the agriculture department is already working with the aim of cultivating 3 thousand 850 hectares of land. Farmers say that agriculture in the uncultivated lands will be possible if agricultural inputs, advice from the agriculture department and loans from banks are given on easy terms.

Farmer Abu Naeem of Khairat village of Gundhar union of Karimganj Upazila said, "People of Haor are reluctant to cultivate other crops except paddy." They are unable to get out of this thinking that crop means paddy. 

But it is possible to grow many crops in these very fertile silt-rich lands.

The local residents of Itna, Mithamoin and Aushtagram Upazilas, which are completely inhabited by Haor, say that if the farmers' benefit and profit of different crops can be shown in reality, thousands of hectares of land falling in Haor's chest will be filled with expensive crops.

When asked about this, District Agriculture Extension Department Deputy Director Abdus Sattar said, "Not even an inch of land will remain uncultivated." We are working towards that goal. He said, already we have given 5 types of vegetable seeds to 100 farmers of each union of the district free of cost. 17 thousand 800 farmers of the district have been given mustard seeds and fertilizers free of cost to increase the production of oil crops.

Deputy Director Abdus Sattar also said that 50,000 farmers have been given seeds and fertilizers free of charge to increase Boro cultivation in the district. Apart from this, 36 thousand 265 farmers have been given free seeds and fertilizers to grow maize, tin and mustard crops.