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Bangladesh: Farmers frequently switching over the crop due to -ve return!

Lack of fair price has made a noticeable dent in cultivation of wheat in Bangladesh. Unavailability of good quality seeds is also to be blamed for the situation.  For the sharp fall in wheat farming acreage, the crop is now being cultivated in mango or lichi orchards in several district of Bangladesh. However,  experts are giving advice to the farmers about certain types of crops on their demand nationwide and suitability of land for their farming.

According to statistics, 120 to 130 maunds( 4.4MT to 4.85MT) of maize is produced on one acre of land against 40 to 45 maunds (1.67 MT) of wheat on the same quantity of land. During peak season, per maund wheat is sold at Tk 800 (INR 16878 per MT) while per maund maize is available at Tk 600 (INR 12660 per MT)

My interaction with the farmers in Bangladesh and compilation of on field data says that production of wheat on one acre of land costs Tk 36,000 (INR 28,346/-) while it takes Tk 78,000  (INR 61,417/-) to produce maize on the same quantity of land. I found during my recent  visit  to Bangladesh (Dinajpur, Chitgong etc), due to lack of fair price and good seeds, they are losing interest gradually in cultivating the crop. They are getting inclined to cultivation of maize as an alternative to wheat.

When I met Mr Anwarul Islam; Deputy director -Dinajpur Department of Agriculture Extension, he said wheat cultivation per acre of land is shrinking. Farmers are cultivating maize instead of wheat in absence of fair price. He also said farmers will be interested in cultivating wheat if they get fair prices and good seeds. He demands government steps in this regard also.

                                                                                                                                                            -Kishor Jha

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