High yielding mash-kalai variety makes char farmers happy
06 December 2015,Nirapad News: Farmers have become happy after cultivating a high yielding mash-kalai (black gram) variety on the fallow lands in vast char (riverbed) areas in both Rajshahi and Chapinawabganj districts during the last couple of years.
Acreage of the variety, BARIMASH-3, released by Bangladesh Agriculture Research Institute (BARI), is gradually increasing as per acre yield is more than the existing indigenous varieties.
Huge char lands of the Padma and Mohananda rivers which remained fallow after monsoon for a long time are being brought under the mass-kalai farming with initiatives of Barind Station of On Farm Research Division (OFRD) of BARI.
OFRD in association with Sustainable Crop Innovation in Drought-prone Barind area to Mitigate Climate Change Impact Project and Bangladesh Climate Change Trust Fund organizes field day on how to expand farming of BARIMASH-3 in char areas.
Golam Mostofa, a farmer of Baliadaying village, said in previous time the farmers used to cultivate indigenous mash-kalai varieties in a scattered way and many of the lands remained fallow.
Apart from this, yield of those was very poor, hardly one to one and a half mounds per bigha. After getting seeds from OFRD and according to its guidelines, they have been cultivating the new variety since last year, he added.
The farmers are very much interested to boost its farming in the years to come as the variety’s yield is more than four to five mounds per bigha.
There is no additional cost for mash-kalai production excepting only one or two plowings. Cost of one bigha of farming is around Taka 750 whereas its outcome can fetch Taka 7,000 to 8000.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr Shakhawat Hossain, Senior Scientific Officer and Head of OFRD Barind Center, said huge land of the char area remained fallow after receding floodwater every year.
So, there is an enormous scope of elevating socio-economic condition of the local community through the best uses of the fallow lands if those were brought under BARIMASH-3 farming.
He referred to various salient features of the cash crops. He said: “No additional cost for fertilizer, pesticide and irrigation is needed to cultivate this sort-term cash crop”.
Terming it as an eco-friendly, he said the farming is most effectual for boosting soil fertility. Requisite seeds were distributed among 200 farmers for cultivating 100 acres of land in only Mohanpur area.
Traditionally, the Rajshahi and Chapainawabganj districts along with their vast char areas are very much popular for mass-kalai farming and its production.