Bitter Gourds PHOTO: COURTESY
Silna in Gopalganj Sadar upazila is now known as Uchche (Bitter gourd) village. Once you enter this village, you will see field after field of bitter gourd. Locally it is called Uchche. The title ‘Uchche Gram’ truly matches for this village. Whichever direction you look at you’ll see fields of bitter gourd.
As Bitter gourd cultivation has proved to be profitable, farmers of not only Silna village but also in different areas of five upazilas of Gopalganj are now moving towards cultivating bitter gourd. With bumper yields farmers are able to meet local demand and supply to Dhaka and the farmers are all smiles as they are getting good prices.
This vegetable is well known in different parts of the country under different names. In Gopalganj area, everyone knows it by one name – uchche. And by cultivating this uchche, Silna village of Sadar upazila of the district has become known as 'uchche village'.
Anju Majumder of Guadhana village said farmers in their area cultivate more vegetables than paddy. Because there is more profit in vegetables. Almost every farmer in Silna and Guadhana villages has cultivated bitter gourd.
Another farmer, Akrab Hossain, said they have been cultivating improved varieties of Uchche like boulder, begri, meski. People of all ages, from children to teenagers, men and women, work together in these villages to collect the bitter gourd. Due to favorable weather, the yield has also been extensive. The interest of the farmers is increasing day by day after getting good yield.
Palash Adhikari, a farmer from Guadhana village, said the yield was good this time as there was no outbreak of diseases. The yield per bigha is about 8 to 10 maunds. The price is also relatively good. They are selling at 60 to 70 taka per kg. A temporary market has also been set up in the village of Silna. Some people are also cultivating eggplant, cucumber and sweet pumpkin.
Haripada Roy, a wholesale trader, said they bought Uchche at Tk 50 per kg and sold them at various markets outside the district. They are benefiting from the good demand for Uchche in different districts.
Deputy Director of the Department of Agricultural Extension, Arvind Kumar Roy told reporters that more than 400 hectares’ of land has been cultivated in the district this year.