Broccoli farming gains ground in Rajshahi region
23 December 2015, Nirapad News: Farming of broccoli, a non-conventional winter vegetable, has been gaining popularity in the region due to its high market value than many other vegetable items.
Many of the farmers are seen showing their interest in cultivating the cash crop for the last couple of years as they get better output along with the market price.
Agricultural extension officials and researchers mentioned that there has been a bright prospect of broccoli farming commercially everywhere in the northwest region of the country and the consumption rate increases gradually.
In this regard, they said the prolonged cold weather being experienced in the region is suitable for cultivation of the non-conventional crop that is commonly known as green cauliflower.
Its plant and flower are almost similar to the cauliflower and its green leaves enriched with protein and vitamin C can be consumed directly. But the price of broccoli in the markets is three to four times more than cauliflower.
The unusual vegetable is gradually becoming popular among the urban people and in the recent time, the Chinese restaurants together with the grand hotels are using broccoli for making soup and other delicious foods creating demand for the vegetable.
Agriculturist Dr Saifur Rahman of Chapainawabgonj Horticulture Center here told that the crop was unfamiliar to the farmers and consumers of the rural areas.
He said various agricultural extension and research organizations have taken initiatives to make farming of the crop popular among the growers level. Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) has also grown the crop in projection plots aimed at encouraging the farmers towards boosting its production commercially.
In terms of nutritive aspect, Dr Rahman said the vegetable should be added to the diet list of the common people for its food value.
ATM Rafiqul Islam, Deputy Manager (Agriculture) of Barind Multipurpose Development Authority, said the vegetable could easily be cultivated in the normal farming field as it is more tolerable to high-temperature than cauliflower and cabbage.
Besides, he mentioned that nutritive value of the crop was more than any other winter vegetable including cabbage and cauliflower.
It contains antioxidant and anticancer ingredient that can enhance resistance of various diseases.
Besides, he said many people consume it directly or boiled as it could be digested easily. So, he said commercial farming of the crop was very potential.
In this context, Agriculturist Rafique said, importance should be given to encouraging the farmers through providing them with necessary financial support and inputs.
He said the farming method was almost similar to the cabbage and cauliflower. At least 40,000 to 50,000 plants could be produced from per hectare in 65-70 days.
Saidur Rahman, a farmer of Duary village under Paba upazila, alleged that farming of the potential cash crop could not be expanded to the interested farmers level significantly due to lack of proper initiative by the field level officials concerned.
`If we get adequate support and other updated technological knowledge we are obviously interested to boost the farming and its yield,’ he said.
He added that the laboratory based research outputs must be disseminated timely among the growers level for wide-ranging expansion of the high valued crops for uplifting the agriculture sector and its sub-sectors.