It is fabulous! At first sight, it looks more like purple flowers from a distance. When someone comes close to them, they will find them as purple cabbages. And it is a common scene in Jashore's Churamonkati union of Sadar upazila.
Farmers of the union have been successful in cultivating this variety of cabbage for the first time in the district.
Purple cabbage, also known as red cabbage, is enriched in several vitamins, including vitamins A, C and K, as well as the minerals -- potassium and manganese. Red cabbage, in addition to polyphenols, is rich in beta-carotene, which offers antioxidant benefits.
Amin Uddin, a farmer of the union, said he has cultivated cabbage on his two bighas of land this year spending Tk 35,000. He has already sold 1,000 pieces of cabbage from his field at Tk 22 per kg and earned Tk 30,000. There are also around 9,000 pieces cabbages left in his field.
Amin said he brought seeds of the cabbage out of curiosity when he went to India.
Another farmer, Monowar Hossain Mintu, said he received an overwhelming response from buyers though he cultivated purple cabbage for the first time. He said he was getting higher prices for purple cabbage compared to the normal one.
Zahirul Islam, deputy assistant agriculture officer of Joghati block of the union, said two types of purple cabbage – Red Jewel and Ruby King— are being cultivated here. Amin Uddin brought seeds from India in 2018. But farmers cultivated this cabbage commercially on 12 bighas of land in 2019.
Amin, Mintu and Babu cultivated the cabbage on two bighas of land each while Monowar Hossain, Shahidul Islam and Abdul Mannan on one bigha each, he said.
Zahirul said he helped the farmers through extending necessary advice.
Farmers can produce 70-80 tonnes of green cabbage from per hectare of land but can get 90-100 tonnes of purple cabbage from the same quantity of land, said the official expressing his hope that the production will get a boost next year.
Although Bangladesh ranked third in vegetable production in the world but the production is not still enough to meet the demand of its growing population.
According to officials at the Department of Agricultural Extension (DoAE), some 26,230,927 metric tonnes of vegetables were produced in 2017-18 fiscal while 19,396,755 metric tonnes in 2013-2014 fiscal year.
Additional 2,647,786 metric tonnes of vegetables were produced in 2017-18 fiscal compared to 2016-17 FY. 19,984,334 metric tonnes were produced in 2015-2016 fiscal, while it was 21,041,406 metric tonnes in 2014-15FY, according to annual data of the department.