Dinajpur is well-known as a food-surplus region and now the northern district has surplus seeds.
After meeting the local demands, seeds the district produces go to other areas of the country every year. People concerned said the district produces quality seeds while the yields the seeds make are also good.
Therefore, markets have good demand for seeds from Dinajpur.
According to the district agriculture office, Dinajpur annually produces more than 42,384 tonnes of paddy, wheat and potato seeds worth Tk166.18 crore. And the district supplies 2,850 tonnes of seeds worth Tk12.73 crore to the nearby districts.
Dinajpur Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) says the district has around 2.79 lakh hectares of arable land. Local farmers cultivate Boro paddy on 1.74 lakh hectares, Aman on 2.60 lakh hectares, Aush on 11,000 hectares, potato on 43,000 hectares and wheat on 5,500 hectares.
Dinajpur Deputy-Assistant Agriculture Officer Mostakim Hossain said per hectare of land requires 25 kilograms of paddy seed according to international standard. As per this requirement, the district needs 11,125 tonnes of paddy seeds.
However, as the farmers produce 25 percent seeds on their own, the annual demand for paddy seeds in the northern district stands at around 8,500 tonnes. Dinajpur's annual demand for wheat and potato seeds are around 687 tonnes and around 64 tonnes respectively.
Like paddy, Dinajpur farmers grow 50 percent potato seeds on their own. Dinajpur Agricultural Development Corporation (Seed) Assistant Director Sarwar Hossain said though the district does not have surplus potato seeds, nearby Joypurhat, Panchagarh and Thakurgaon district farmers cultivate potato from Dinajpur seeds.
According to Dinajpur DAE, more than 6.24 lakh families in the northern district are involved in agriculture and they have food grains in surplus even after feeding 35 lakh Dinajpur people.
In the current fiscal year, around 23.50 tonnes of Aman, Boro, Aush and potato have been harvested in the district. Dinajpur DAE Deputy Director Towhidul Iqbal said the lands are very fertile and good crops produce good seeds.
"Currently flood submerges 37 districts of the country, but Dinajpur is dry. More and more private seed firms are coming to the district for smooth commercial production," said the DAE official.