A deputy assistant agriculture officer in Rupsha upazila had distributed seeds among farmers to secure the food chain for after the pandemic
Poet Ramprasad said, "Oh Mind, you don't know farming. Your life remains fallow – had you cultivated, it could have grown gold."
The courtyards of the houses are no longer an unproductive place. They are producing gold. The backyards of most of the farmers' homes in Rupsha upazila of Khulna district have now turned into lush green vegetable fields.
In line with the yards, farmers also grow a variety of vegetables on their fallow land.
Due to the special initiative of the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE), vegetable fields are now growing on fallow land and in the yards of farmers' residences in the upazila.
Abdur Rahman, deputy assistant agriculture officer of Alaipur block in Rupsha upazila, distributed seeds to the farmers for free. He bought the seeds with his money then distributed them among the farmers. Now, the farmers have started reaping the benefits.
DAE sources said the Rupshaupazila Agriculture Office has taken the initiative to distribute free seeds to farmers in order to ensure the perfect use of land and secure food and nutrition issues for after the Covid-19 pandemic.
At the end of April, free seeds were distributed among 15 farmer families of Alaipur, Putimari and Anandnagar villages of Alaipur block. The seeds were distributed maintaining social distance.
Mohabbat Ali Sheikh, a farmer from Alaipur village, said, "I was passing idle time at home because of the Covid-19 outbreak. At that time, the deputy assistant agriculture officer of the Agriculture Office came to the house and asked us to plant some vegetable seed in the fallow land in the backyard."
"The seeds were free," he added.
Initially, it appeared that there was a problem, but later he planted the seeds in the fallow land of his backyard. Already seedlings have grown from these seeds, Mohabbat continued.
"Now I am spending my time taking care of these vegetables. The crop can be harvested in the next few days," said the farmer – adding that he no longer needs to buy vegetables.
He can also sell the surplus produce, added the farmer.
Abdur Rahman, deputy assistant agriculture officer, Alaipur block, said that he had risked his life amid the Covid-19 pandemic to distribute seeds among the farmers.
At first, it was his solo initiative and later, he collaborated with Rupsha upazila agriculture officer. Consequently, 15 farmers received various types of vegetable seeds.
Frequently, he visited the houses of those farmers and supervised the vegetable cultivation process, said the agriculture official.
"The farmers sow the seeds in the fallow land in their yards. Due to sufficient rains, the vegetable seedlings grow easily from these seeds," he added.
RupshaUpazila Agriculture Officer Fariduzzaman said that Abdur Rahman began distribution of vegetable seeds in Alaipur block – one of the 15 blocks in Rupsha upazila.
Later, the deputy agriculture officers in other blocks also started distributing seeds to inspire farmers in vegetable cultivation, he added.
On top of that, RRN – a voluntary organization in Bagmara and Max Cooperative Society of Amdabad and AnushilanMojar School of Ilaipur are also distributing free vegetable seeds among the farmers.
He said an incentives programme has been undertaken to provide assistance to 32 farmer families in each union of Rupsha upazila to set up vegetable gardens in their homes. They will receive: free seeds, fertiliser, fences, and maintenance.