Sylhet, Feb 24 (UNB) – Vegetable farming on floating beds made of water hyacinth and bamboo in water bodies or ponds, is gaining popularity in different areas of the district.
With support from Bangladesh Agriculture Research Institute (Bari), farmers are cultivating vegetables in abandoned ponds and water bodies making floating beds.
Farmers do not need to use fertilizer and pesticide for cultivating vegetables using the method and this method is helping them grow vegetables at lower cost. As the vegetables are being produced in a fully organic way, the demand for these vegetables is higher in the markets.
Many farmers are making good profits selling their vegetables produced on their floating gardens.
Visiting Rustampur area in Bagha union of Golapganj upazila, the UNB correspondent found that farmer Faruk Ahmed has cultivated tomato, eggplant, green chili, Red Spinach, Kalmi Shak, Ladies finger, Long Bean, pumpkin and bean in his floating garden.
He said he made the floating bed for vegetable cultivation under a project ‘Vegetables and Spice Cultivation Research, Extension and Popularization on Floating Bed’ of the Research Department of BARI.
“Though it’s very tough to build floating beds on 20-feet deep water, we’ve got success as the demand for vegetables cultivated in this method is very high in the market,” he said.
Md Kawser, an assistant scientist of BARI, said the cultivation method is very environment-friendly and vegetable produced on such beds are safe and healthy.
Under the project, BARI officials said, they are inspiring the farmers. Vegetables are being cultivated on 46 floating beds in Rustampur, Hazipur of Golapganj and Kotalpur of Fencuganj, and they have already got huge response from farmers of the areas.
Earlier, they applied the method of this vegetable faming in Sunamganj district headquarters and Dakkhin Sunmganj under the project on pilot basis. Now, they have a plan for expanding in other areas, they said.
Md Belal Miah, a farmer of Kotalpur village, said after collecting a vegetable from a floating bed, they can cultivate another vegetable on the same bed.
Dr Mahmudul Islam Nazrul, senior scientific officer of Sylhet BARI office, said vegetable production in Sylhet region is not sufficient. All varieties of vegetables are not cultivated in all areas. Besides, many ponds and canals are lying unused.
In such places, he said, farmers can become self-reliant by cultivating vegetables on floating beds.
Nazrul said government assistance to cultivate vegetables using the method will be increased.