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Onion seed farming surges in Pabna

Shaheen Rahman, Pabna

Published: 11:33, 22 March 2024

Onion seed farming surges in Pabna

Caption: Farmer Haider Ali tending to the onion seed production field. The photo was taken in the Katenga field of Chatmohar upazila in Pabna on Monday morning. Photo: Messenger

Chatmohar in Pabna is witnessing a surge in commercial onion seed farming, often referred to as "black gold" by farmers, as the demand for this spice continues to rise steadily.

Fields in Chatmohar are now adorned with white blossoms, resembling a sea of delicate flowers. Bees buzz around, collecting nectar from these blooms. This picturesque scene unfolds in Katenga village of Chaikola union in Chatmohar upazila, where farmer Haider Ali has dedicated his land to onion seed production. His fields are currently brimming with onion blossoms, soon to be harvested for their seeds, keeping him engrossed in their care.

Even as the season progresses, farmers in the upazila are meticulously tending to their onion fields for a bountiful yield. Plots originally planted with tubers for seed production are now awash with white flowers. The collection of onion seeds from these blooms is imminent, with farmers anticipating a fruitful harvest given the favourable weather conditions.

According to sources from the Chatmohar Agriculture Office, approximately 1,150 hectares of land have been cultivated in the upazila this season. Of this total, 490 hectares are dedicated to onion seedlings, while 640 hectares are allocated for onion bulbs.

Hyder Ali, a seasoned farmer from Katenga village, has been a stalwart in onion seed production for two decades. This season, he is overseeing onion seed farming on over two bighas of land.

In a conversation, farmer Haider Ali emphasised the importance of meticulous soil preparation before planting onions, involving multiple plowings. He highlighted the necessity of applying pesticides like TSP and potash fertilisers during land preparation. Haider Ali has invested approximately Tk 1,25,000 for activities such as tuber planting, irrigation, weeding, maintenance, and regular pesticide spraying on his two bighas of land. He remains optimistic about producing 100 kg of onion seeds per bigha, barring any natural calamities.

Haider Ali also noted that the standard price of onion seeds ranges from Tk 1,500 to Tk 2,000 per kilogram. Farmers engaged in onion seed production stand to gain significantly if prices surge, reaching up to Tk 5,000 per kilogram in certain years. This year, he anticipates earning between Tk 2,00,000 and Tk 2,50,000.

Chatmohar Upazila Agriculture Officer AA Masum Billah commented on the expansion of onion cultivation efforts, particularly focusing on Taherpuri and Kalasnagar varieties. With favourable weather conditions this season, tuber onions have shown promising yields.

Masum Billah highlighted the positive impact of onion's lucrative market prices on farmers. Onion seed producers are optimistic about a successful yield, with the impending commencement of seed collection from the fields in the coming days.