The cultivation of Napier grass, an animal feed, has proved lucrative at different upazilas in Rangpur district in recent years as the farmers are getting financially benefited through its farming.
A good number of growers have engaged in commercial cultivation of the feed and the number is increasing day by day, sources said.
Mafakhkharul Islam, a grower of Nishbetganj area under Rangpur Sadar upazila is one of the farmers who have changed their fortune cultivating Napier grass. He said that once he used to grow other crops in his land but now he is fully engaged in Napier grass cultivation.
For the last few years he has been making significant profit from it. Earlier, he faced acute crisis of fodder but now he has adequate feed.
"At present I earn Tk 80,000 to Tk 1,00,000 a year from each bigha of land, at a production cost of Tk 12,000 to Tk 14,000", he said.
"There is no need to use insecticides. Napier grass is a lucrative crop as it can be harvested eight to nine times per year and sold as livestock feed", he added.
Hafizur, another farmer of Tilokpara village in Mithapukur upazila said that previously, he used to cultivate paddy.
As he could not make good profit from paddy, he began cultivating the grass and thus he became able to earn handsome profit. He earned Tk 70,000 last year by cultivating Napier grass on his 40 decimals of land. This year he is expecting a good profit as well, he said.
Many growers under different upazilas including Mithapukur, Gangachara, Kawnia told this correspondent that the market price and demand for Napier grass is very satisfactory. Its cultivation is very simple and easy as it needs no use of chemical fertilisers and very little care. Its cultivation has helped them overcome fodder crisis, they said.
According to District Livestock Office sources market price as well as demand for Napier grass is very satisfactory. Due to growing demand and good profit, its farming is on the increase across the region, sources added.