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District - April 2, 2023

Golden harvest in salty fields

Mahfuz Emran: The people of Kolghensha Coastal Upazila Koira of Sundarbans have started to overcome the wounds of terrible natural disasters like Sidor and Aila. They are growing golden crops in salty land. Thousands of coastal people are becoming self-sufficient by cultivating sweet potatoes, watermelons and sunflowers across the horizon of salty Koiraupazila. The agriculture department commented that the farmers will start cultivation on more land if they get the right price for the produce.
According to Khulna District Agriculture Office sources, to overcome the salinity, the Department of Agriculture has taken the project of crop production in the saline land of KoiraUpazila. Sweet potatoes, watermelons and sunflowers are cultivated in more than 100 hectares of coir fallow land through the project ‘Climate Change Adaptation of Khulna Agricultural Region through Climate-Smart Technology’. Thousands of farmers also came forward to work with the help of agricultural officials to grow golden crops in the salty land.
KrishaniBratirani of Naksha village of Amadi union of Koiraupazila said, with the help of district and upazila agriculture office, we have planted sunflower on 4 bigha land and sweet potato on 10 bigha land. Expected to produce more than 110 maunds of potatoes per bigha. Potatoes are sold at more than Rs.6 per kg. In this, one bigha of land will make a profit of 20,000 rupees. If the price was higher, the profit would have been more than 50 thousand rupees. Al Amin Sana, a farmer of Moukhali area, said that last year I cultivated watermelon on three bigha of land on lease.
It has yielded well. But due to the passage of time, he could not make much profit. I have cultivated watermelon this year as well. The yield has been good. Expected to produce more than 20 melons per bigha.
MeghnathDhali of Chandipur village said, under the project, we have cultivated Pakija variety of watermelon. The Agriculture Office is providing all kinds of support in this regard. In the meantime, the fruit has started coming from the taramju tree.
He said, watermelons produced in saline soil are very tasty. Although a bit small in size, it can be eaten with satisfaction. If no natural calamity strikes, watermelon will be good this time.
District Agriculture Office Additional Deputy Director (Grains) Md. Mosaddek Hossain said, Koira is one of the coastal upazilas. An upazila plagued by various calamities including Cyclone Sidor and Flood Ila. The soil here is highly saline. Farmers are producing golden crops in that saline land. This is a good thing. The Department of Agricultural Extension has been helping the farmers here for a long time. Agriculture officials are working with the farmers by providing all necessary support including fertiliser, seeds and pesticides.
He said that under the ‘Climate Change Adaptation of Khulna Agricultural Region through Climate-Smart Technology’ project of the Department of Agriculture, work is currently underway to bring all cultivable land including fallow land under the cultivation of the farmers of this upazila. As a part of this, the farmers here are seeing success by cultivating sweet potatoes, watermelons, oil crops, sunflowers. He commented that farmers will be more interested in farming if they get the right price.

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