A total of 16 rivers including the Brahmaputra, Teesta, Dharla, Dudkumar, Fulkumar, Sangkos,Jalcira,Gangadhar, and Zinzeram are flowing in Kurigram district are now is seen a vast tract of sandy char areas as most of the parts of those rivers have been dried up.
Once upon a time no crops were grown there. The farmers as well as the landless persons are making those sandy lands as cultivable and are growing there pumpkins in a large scale at present. Agriculture department including Non Government Organizations (NGO) are providing Technical support and supplying seeds to those farmers. Most of the farmers are cultivating by their own efforts there.
According to Kurigram Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) pumpkin has been cultivated on 8000 hectares of land in the district in the current fiscal. Most of them have cultivated on the barren sandy char areas.
The farmer Sofear Rahman in the char areas of the Dudkumar River under Nageswari upazila told that he had been cultivating pumpkin in the sandy char areas for the last three years. He earns taka 20000-25000 per year after meeting his demand. The landless farmer Nabidul Islan of Jhunkar char under Jatrapur union of Kurigram Sadar upazila told this correspondent that a total of 15 farmers jointly cultivated pumpkin on 7 hectares of sandy land. He said we are expecting for taka 50000 each as profit in this year. We have received seeds from NGO as assistance and we are being performed technical support regularly from Agriculture department.
Another landless farmer Shekher Ali of Austomor char under Chilmari upazila said we are benefitting cultivating pumpkin the barren sandy char of the River Brahmaputra. A widow Shomiron Dewa in the same char area said she received profit cultivating pumpkin on his two bighas of land. Consequently she has also cultivated pumpkin on her three bighas land and expecting more profit. Meanwhile most of the pumpkins in the fields in char areas have been harvested.
Deputy Director (DD) of Kurigram DAE Abdur Rashid told that the farmers sow or planted pumpkin in char areas from middle of December to 1st week of January and they begin to harvest from the month of March. The traders from various districts of the country come here to purchase pumpkin. The farmers of char areas are being provided with seeds and technical support free of cost.