Farmers in Rajshahi region are now very busy in harvesting ‘Loti Raj Kochu’ (roots of arum) amidst good yield and expected market price.
‘The favourable weather has helped the farmers in cultivating arum roots this year,’ said Deb Dulal Dhali, deputy director of Rajshahi Agricultural Extension Department.
He said, ‘As the crop is environment friendly and nutritious, the agriculture department has been suggesting farmers to cultivate different kinds of arum roots for the last few years.’
‘But, farmers refrained from cultivating this crop for the last few years as had to face loss. In fact, farmers who cultivated arum roots in the last year, faced huge loss,’ he added.
‘However, this year’s bumper production of arum roots may encourage farmers to cultivate this seasonal crop in the upcoming sessions,’ the agricultural official said.
‘This year arum roots have been cultivated in around 650 hectares of land in all the eight upazilas of Rajshahi,’ he added.
According to farmers, cultivating various species of arum roots is around five times more profitable than cultivating paddy.
Besides, this particular crop does not require any pesticides and needs very little care.
The crop is planted by the third week of January and harvested by the third week of July. Around 70 to 80 maunds of arum roots are produced from per bigha of land.
Each kilogram of arum roots is now being sold at Tk 30 to Tk 35 on an average in the local markets.
Md Shahzaman, a farmer of village Debipur of Durgapur upazila in the district, told New Age that he cultivated arum roots in his two bighas of land and expected 140-150 maunds of crops.
‘The cost of cultivating arum roots in one bigha of land is around Tk 15,000 and the product will be sold at Tk 85, 000 on an average if the market situation remains normal,’ he said.
Kamal Hossain, a farmer of Paba upazila, said that he cultivated arum roots in several bighas of land.
‘The weather is favourable for the crops. Besides, pest attacks have not affected the crops. We are expecting a good profit,’ he added.
He said that he had received seeds and technical supports from the regional agriculture office to cultivate arum roots.
‘I will cultivate it in more land in the next season,’ he added.
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