OUR CORRESPONDENT |
October 11, 2021 09:19:36
CUMILLA: Online seed bank, first such in Bangladesh, begins its journey from Cumilla with the objective of showcasing and marketing various quality crop seeds.
Tarique Mahmudul Islan, a DAE official, has launched the maiden Online Seed Bank. The online platform also has a YouTube channel called ‘Krishi Tube’ featuring different fruits and crops.
Videos of fruits and crops from different parts of the country and outside the country are also broadcast on the channel. Thus the crops of one area are spreading to other parts of the country.
Significantly, indigo chili of Kalirbazar area in Cumilla Sadar Upazila and Barry Jacques bean of Cumilla Agricultural Research Institute, as also other crops, are being propagated far and wide.
Meanwhile, farmers who want to sell seeds online inform the online page. And those who want to buy seeds also place demand. This has made buying and selling seeds easier.
According to sources, Tariq Mahmudul Islam, the entrepreneur of the online seed bank, had worked in Cumilla for a long time. He is now working as Deputy Director of the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) in Feni district. Except for office hours, he takes time to promote new fruits and crops. That’s why he has launched the online Seed Bank page on the Facebook.
More than 25,000 members have joined the seeds bazaar in a short time. Then he launched a YouTube channel. He also collected seeds on his own initiative and distributed them among the farmers.
Going through the page, one can see a picturesque combination of colorful flowers and crops. Someone wrote, “Ajua date saplings will be sold, those interested should contact”.
Someone wrote that Vietnam’s short varieties of coconut and betel seedlings will be sold. Someone wrote: “I want to know where to find good guava seedlings”.
Shua Mia, a farmer from Shushunda village in Barura upazila of Cumilla, said, “Mr. Tariq was once our Upazila Agriculture Officer. He gave me a collection of different varieties of lemon saplings. With his help, I now have 42 varieties of lemons in my garden.”
Shahida Akhter, deputy assistant agriculture officer of Cumilla Sadar Dakshin Upazila’s Galiyara Dakshin Union, said, ‘Seeds are the mother of agriculture. With good seeds, the farmers can go into production in time. Tariq Sir has personally assisted the farmers in my area with various non-conventional seeds. Many farmers have benefited from this.”
Tariq Mahmudul Islam, the founder of the online seed bank, said that a fruit or crop seed may be very much needed in a neighbouring upazila or a nearby village. But they are not available in seed stores. But the produced seeds are lying unused with many farmers.
“With such an idea in mind, I started a digital platform called Online Seed Bank by distributing seeds of Taiwan Happiness variety of gourd among ten farmers of Noapara village in Sadar Dakshin Upazila of Cumilla. The purpose is to bring seed growers, sellers, farmers and agricultural officials on one platform.
“Many of the group members exchange seeds in addition to money, exchange information about seed sources without money.”
Md. Asad Ullah, Director-General of the Department of Agriculture Extension, said, “Tariq Mahmudul Islam is a creative officer. Creating seed networking on his personal initiative is a good initiative. I wish him success in his work.”