Black cumin seed (kalijira) is being cultivated for the first time on trial basis in Atrai upazila of Naogaon this year.
Upazila Agriculture Officer (UAO) SM Golam Sarwar said only 10 decimals of land have been brought under black cumin seed farming at Chowkmoon village for the first time.
Farmer Md Liton of the village agreed to cultivate the spice.
Liton told this correspondent that he agreed to cultivate black cumin as it has many uses. “It is not only a spice, but is also used for medicinal purposes,” he said. Demand for oil from black cumin seed is increasing in the country, said the elderly Liton, a successful farmer in the area.
Local DAE is giving him support, said Liton.
“I became bored producing the traditional crops. I tried growing black cumin seed as it is a new crop here and I wanted to do something different,” he said, adding that he is expecting good profit.
He cultivated the black cumin seed on 10 decimals in mid-December last year and harvesting is likely to start in a week. “The seed is becoming mature,” he said.
Farmers can harvest it around four months after plantation, the UAO said.
He said black cumin seed is grown on a very small area in Bangladesh, although consumption is high.
The first ever test farming of this important crop in the area has created enthusiasm among other farmers as Liton is likely to get a good harvest, the UAO said.
Agriculture officials are hopeful that more farmers in the upazila will take up farming black cumin seed.
Black cumin seed farming is not costly, and the weather and soil are suitable for this crop, the UAO said.
Farmers need only Tk 3,000 to Tk 4,000 for cultivating the crop on 33 decimals, and can get yield of up to 120 kg per 33 decimals of land.
Black cumin seed is available at Tk 250 per kg in the local markets.