Farmers of Singair, Manikganj are happy this year as cultivating carrots has been profitable with a very good yield.
According to the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) at the upazila, the target of carrot production was set at 43,000 tonnes on 1,071 hectares of land for the current fiscal year.
The cultivation land is 46 hectares less from the previous year due to floods.
Harvesting of the vegetable has already started.
Due to good communication with the capital, wholesale traders of Dhaka are paying more attention to the carrot of Singair.
Some vegetable traders are claiming that carrots of Singair are being exported too.
In the 2017-18 fiscal year, 38,571 tonnes of carrot were produced on 1,102 hectares of land. In the next fiscal year, 42,180 tonnes of carrots were collected from 1,110 hectares. In FY20, 42,725 tonnes were produced on 1,117 hectares of land.
Carrot cultivation on 0.25 hectare of land (one bigha) costs Tk19,000-Tk20,000 and normally yields 150 to 160 maunds of carrots. If the yield is good, the amount could reach 220-230 maunds.
If the production and market prices are normal, carrots collected from 0.25 hectare of land can be sold at Tk65,000-Tk70,000. However, if it is sold to wholesale buyers, the price is a little lower, according to the farmers.
Amjad Ali Sheikh, a farmer from Maniknagar of the upazila, said wholesalers buy carrots immediately after seeds are sown. After that, they take care of the whole thing - from giving fertiliser and spraying pesticides to looking after the fields.
Meher Uddin, a farmer from West Vakum area, said, "Although the demand for carrots in the local market is a bit low, there is a huge demand for Singair's carrots among the wholesalers in Dhaka. That is why local farmers are inclined to carrot cultivation. Besides, at low costs, in just two and a half to three months, the profit from carrot cultivation is higher than other crops."
In Maniknagar area, trader Aminur Rahman said, "Vegetable traders from different parts of the country gather in different areas of Singair to buy carrots. Wholesalers are also paying more attention to Singair's carrots because of good communication with the capital. It can be transported to Dhaka at a low cost."
The trader also claimed that carrots of Singair are exported to different Middle East countries.
Apart from farmers, carrot farming has changed the fortunes of hundreds of agricultural workers in the area. These agricultural workers work for a daily wage of Tk450-Tk500.
Kaiyum Hossain, a worker engaged in carrot cleaning, said agricultural workers had to work for a small amount of money throughout the year.
However, as the demand for labour increases during the carrot cultivation and harvesting, wages also increases a little at that time, he said.
Most of the soil of Singair is sandy loam. This soil is suitable for carrot cultivation. Farmers started sowing seeds of carrots in the month of Ashwin-Kartik.
Carrots become suitable for sale within the next 90 days. Wholesalers buy carrots from local farmers even before the vegetables are ready to harvest.
Tipu Sultan Swapan, Singair upazila agriculture officer, said local farmers collect the seeds of the Orange King variety of Japan on their own initiatives and sow the seeds for cultivation.
Many farmers sell carrots on their own initiatives in different kitchen markets of the capital for more profits.