Bumper jhum yield brings smile to Bandarban farmers

This year different varieties of paddy were cultivated in 9,020 hectares of Jhum lands with a target of 23,292 tons of yields

Jhum farmers including women of Bandarban district are happy as their traditional Jhum cultivation has brought robust yields this year.

There are 11 indigenous groups in Bandarban, including Chakma, Marma, Khumi, Lusai, and most of them are heavily dependent on this age-old cultivation method for collecting food crops for the whole year. 

Jhum farming provides them stocks for two-thirds of a year. This year, farmers are extra happy with a good yield of paddy.

Indigenous people of the district prepare their fields and sow seeds in April, and harvest the crop from September to November.

According to the Bandarban Agriculture Department, this year different varieties of paddy were cultivated in 9,020 hectares of Jhum lands with a target of 23,292 tons of yields. Last year, paddy was cultivated on 8,458 hectares of land with a production target of 14,003 tons. 

Speaking to Dhaka Tribune, agriculture officials and jhum farmers said they are expecting a good yield at the end of the harvest as the weather was favorable this season for paddy cultivation.

Farmer Mong Marma from Baghmara area of Bandarban Sadar upazila, said this year the yield seemed quite satisfactory as the weather was favourable. “After stockpiling for ourselves, we will will be able to make profits selling paddy in the market.”

Another farmer Manle Mro from Chimbuk area said: “We are really happy as the produce has yielded good this season. Our hard work has paid off, we can now eat to our heart’s content.”

Apart from paddy, farmers also cultivated other vegetables such as pepper, gourd, eggplants, pumpkins, mustard, maize, and barley etc. Adequate rainfall and favourable weather fetched record production. 

Regarding the matter, AKM Nazmul Haque, deputy director of Bandarban Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE), said: “Our department is working to increase production of different varieties of paddy by using modern technology in jhum cultivation. If the jhum cultivation is done with modern technology, food security can be ensured.”

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