Encouraged by free seed and fertiliser, the farmers in Rangpur have cultivated Aush paddy on record 63,690 hectares of land – 7 percent higher than the target, according to the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE).
During this season, the government distributed free Aush seeds and fertiliser – as special incentives – among 22,750 small and marginal farmers of the region.
Under the incentives, each of the farmers got 5 kg high yielding variety Aush seeds, 15 kg diammonium phosphate and 10 kg murrieta of potash fertilisers for free to cultivate Aush paddy on one bigha of land, according to the DAE.
Also, 1,900 kg seeds were collected from the Bangladesh Rice Research Institute and the Bangladesh Institute of Nuclear Agriculture and distributed among 380 more farmers for free.
According to the DAE, the 2020-21 season saw Aush cultivation on the largest acreage of land in Rangpur – the highest in 20 years.
Farmers of the region produced Aush on 25,734 hectares of land in the 2000-01 season.
The Ministry of Agriculture said that in this time of Covid-19, seeds and fertilisers were distributed among the farmers for free to encourage them to produce Aush so that the supply of food can be ensured with an extra harvest.
Many lands in the region are good for Aush cultivation. Work is underway to turn some of them into three-crop lands through Aush cultivation, Additional Director of the DAE for Rangpur region Muhammad Ali said.
Apart from carrying out motivational campaigns, the government has given special incentives and technical support to the farmers of the region to inspire them to increase Aush cultivation.
Upazila and field level officials are advising the farmers on different issues including application of organic fertiliser and balanced use of chemical fertilisers in land preparation, use of quality and modern varieties of seeds, and production of seedlings in ideal seedbeds.