IN NARAlL, CUCUMBER FARMING IS A BOUNTIFUL BUSINESS
July 2019 — Sankar Biswas & Apshari Biswas, a married couple from Korgram village of Narail District and active member of Jularkhal WMG. Belonging to a farm family, agricultural farming is the main earning source of this couple. Usually, Sankar cultivated rice in his land and Apshari helps him in farming activities. But the market price of the produce in compare to cost incurred was not good enough to lead their livelihood and maintain family affairs.
“We used to produce and sell rice to earn our livelihood and take care of the family. But rice production and processing was too much work for very little profit,” said Apshari.
As active member of WMG, this couple always play good role for the organization as well as for the community to improve livelihood by using water resources. They have real urge to change their livelihood by adopting market driven agricultural products. So they are always keep in touch with the officials of Southwest project for new ideas which ultimately increase profit margin from same piece of land.
Southwest Area Integrated Water Resources Planning & Management Project benefiting the WMG members by providing support in basic agriculture skills, market oriented production of high value crops, entrepreneurship, the introduction of improved technologies and seed varieties, linkage with different market actors and marketing.
In the meanwhile, they got the idea of Cucumber cultivation as profitable high value crop. Sankar discussed with his wife and decided to kick-off the new journey of cucumber production with 35 decimal of land as an experiment case. In 2018, first time they have cultivated cucumber in 35 decimal of land and harvested 140 mond (Approx. 5,600 Kg).
“We got 70,000 Tk. by selling the cucumber and the production cost was 20,000 TK. So we have earned 50,000 TK. as profit. Whereas, earlier we have earned only 16,500 TK. from same piece of land by producing rice, jute and mustard,” said Sankar.
This year he has expand his farming area by taking lease and cultivated cucumber in 42 decimals. The total produce was 240 mond (approx. 9,600 Kg) and valued at BDT 1,20,000. The total production cost including lease value was BDT 40,000; so the profit was around BDT 80,000.
Using the profit, now they have constructed a residence building, continuing the educational expenses of three daughters and other family affairs.
This season (Mid-June to Mid-September), Sarkar took more 35 decimal lease and now his total production area is around 77 decimals. Other WMG members are also shifting from traditional agriculture towards high value crops like cucumber. Last season the cucumber production area of this particular zone was 41 acres and 95 members were involved. In the next season WMG is planning to increase the production area almost double by involving 150 members.