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Self-reliance thru' grass cultivation in Rangpur region

RANGPUR, Jan 5, 2017 (BSS) - More than 15,000 extremely poor and landless families of sandy char areas in Rangpur region have achieved self-reliance through commercial basis grass cultivation.

Agriculture and Environment Coordinator of RDRS Bangladesh Mamunur Rashid said cultivation of hybrid grass had also been helping the char people in eradicating poverty and boosting the animal husbandry sector.

"The char people have achieved the success in expanding cultivation of the hybrid variety sweet jumbo and Napier grasses with assistance of different government and non-governmental organisations since 2008," he said.

Following nutritious grass cultivation, milk production has become doubled with easy fattening of cow and fodder crisis reduced.

"Local NGOs have launched expanded farming programme of the grass on over 10,000 acres of land this season in the char areas," Mamun added.

Horticulture Specialist of the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) Khondker Md Mesbahul Islam said that grass cultivation had become a popular and profitable venture among the char people in recent years.

Agriculture Officer of RDRS Bangladesh Shamim Ahmed said, "The cultivators get the first harvest after one month of sowing seed and total eight harvests every month from January to August."

"They have been earning Tk. 70,000 annually through grass cultivation on one acre char land after feeding own cows," he added.

Farmers Shahjahan Ali of village char Bozra Diyarkhata, Faridul Islam of village Jadur Char and Mintu Mian of village Nalita Khata under Chilmari upazila in Kurigram said they are cultivating grass on their 15 to 35 decimals land this time.

"I have cultivated grass in one acre of land and already sold Tk.30,000 after feeding my 22 cows and there will be more five harvests," said farmer Wahed Ali of Kachir Char in Sadar upazila of Kurigram.

Regional Additional Director of the DAE Md Shah Alam said that grass
cultivation had been helping the char people in boosting the animal husbandry sector.