Prospect of boosting cotton production in the region is bright as its topography and climatic condition suitable for the cash crop, reports BSS.
Cotton farming has been gaining popularity among farmers as they are getting more money from the cultivation than any other crop.
Acreage of the crop is gradually increasing in the region comprising Rajshahi, Naogaon, Natore and partly in Pabna for the last couple of years.
Farmers have started replacing paddy and sugarcane cultivation with cotton farming because it requires less investment and less labour.
Abdus Sattar Mian, a farmer of Khorda Govindapur village, said most of the farmers cultivate varieties like CB-12 and three hybrid varieties- Rupli-1 and DM 1 and 2. Abu Saleh Ahmed, a farmer of village Monigram under Bagha upazila said, ‘Last year I cultivated cotton in 60 decimal lands and I got 20 mounds cotton and earned Tk 60 thousand.
As I got a good profit, I have brought 4 bighas of land under cotton cultivation in the current season’.
He told agencies that the cotton farming is helpful towards enriching organic matter of the soil. Monirul Haque, another farmer of village
Bazubagha, said that he has brought 4 bighas of land under cotton cultivation and he is expecting Tk 70 thousand from his output.
He observed that the cotton production could be enhanced to a greater extent if necessary measures were adopted and due importance was given to the sector.
Jahangir Alam, Cotton Development Officer said, ‘We help the cotton farmers in procuring seeds, making land, nurturing of crop. If the weather is favourable a bumper production will be achieved in the current season’. Mostofa Kamal, Chief Cotton Development Officer, here said a total of 1,578 hectares of land has been brought under cotton cultivation in the region this year with an output target of around 10,000 bales. In last 2015-16 fiscal year, 6,736 bales were harvested from 145 hectares of arable land.
Considering the demand of the country’s textile industries, the local cotton growers can meet only 3-5% of the annual demand and the rest is met through import.
He said there is an enormous prospect of boosting cotton production after the best uses of existing natural resources. Cotton Development Board has adopted a five-year project titled “Extensive Cotton Cultivation” considering importance of the sector and its further development.
On successful implementation of the project, cotton production will be enhanced to around 8 to 10 lakh bales from the existing hardly one lakh bales annually in the country that will save foreign currency of around Taka 5 to 6 thousand crore per year.
Mostofa Kamal narrated salient features of the eco-friendly cotton farming and its cotton-stalk and seeds and said cotton is an agriculture crop of multipurpose uses besides many other byproducts.
Better quality edible oil and oil cake are manufactured from cotton seeds and cotton stalk is one of the best domestic fuels.
As oil cake is highly enriched with protein and fat many people use it in cow fattening farm and fish farming pond for better outputs. Another byproduct of the cotton refining process is crude oil that used in soap and glycerin factory as raw material.