Farmers in Gaibandha, Kurigram and Rangpur are going to produce orange-fleshed sweet potatoes (OFSPs), Bangladesh Agriculture Research Institute (BARI), during the current season.
Gan Unnayan Kendra (GUK), a local non-government organisation, will help farmers produce this crop under its programme of Development and Delivery of Bio-fortified (DDBIO) Crops at Scale in cooperation with International Potato Center (CIP) with the financial support of UKaid, official sources said.
Under the programme, a total of 6000 farmers’ were selected to cultivate the variety on 909 bighas of land this season, reports BSS.
The objective of the BARI SP-4, BARI SP-8 and BARI SP-12 farming is to help the growers earn economical profit by meeting the growing demand of Vitamin A which is very essential for children and pregnant women.
The OFSPs would be farmed in Gaibandha Sadar and Fulchhari upazilas (sub-district) under Gaibandha district, Pirgachha and Kaunia upazilas of Rangpur district and Kurigram Sadar and Rajarhat upazilas of Kurigram district, said Agricultural Research and Development Specialist of CIP Monower Hossain.
To bring the land under farming, 150 entrepreneurs have already set up nurseries where the vines of OFSPs had grown well and the entrepreneurs are taking care like their own children to get the required number of vines, he also said.
Within few days of this month, 6.0 million pieces of vines of OFSPs would be collected from the entrepreneurs and it would be distributed to the selected farmers of the upazilas to plant those on the sandy land to get desired output, he added.
Technological and other technical supports were also being provided from the programme to produce the OFSPs, he further said.
The selected farmers were also being trained up so that they could produce OFSPs.
Deputy Director of the Department of Agricultural Extension agriculturist Masudur Rahman said the sub-assistant agriculture officers had been instructed to help the farmers produce OFSPs successfully.
GUK’s Chief Executive Abdus Salam said, the vine distribution to the selected farmers had already started and the farmers would harvest the variety next March if the weather is favorable.