Broccoli farming gains popularity in Rajshahi
Published: January 10, 2015 6:28 pm
Rajshahi, 10 January 2015 : Due high market value, farming of broccoli, a non-conventional winter vegetable, has been gaining popularity in the region compared to 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 is increasing 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 ATM Rafiqul Islam, deputy manager (Agriculture) of Barind Multipurpose Development Authority (BMDA), told that the crop was unfamiliar to the farmers and consumers of the rural areas. But the scenario has changed as the vegetable is seen appearing in both small and big markets frequently. He said various agricultural extension and research organisations have taken initiatives to make farming of the crop popular at 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, the vegetable should be added to the diet list of the common people for its food value.
Deputy Director of DAE, Rajshahi Hazrat Ali 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 ingredients that can enhance resistance of various diseases. Importance should be given to encourage 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. Many of the farmers called for disseminating modern farming technologies of the potential cash crop to interested farmers for boosting its production.
Afsar Ali, a farmer of Darusha 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 were 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.