Prospect of yielding additional five lakh metric tons of mug bean every year is bright in the high barind tract comprising Rajshahi, Naogaon and Chapainawabgonj districts, speakers at a farmers training said yesterday. They viewed around one lakh bigha of land remain fallow for more than three months after the harvest of rabi crops like wheat, mustard, potato and tomato every year. There has been enormous scope of bringing the huge land under mug bean farming in order to best uses of those alongside increasing cropping intensity amid the current water-stress condition. On Farm Research Division (OFRD) of Bangladesh Agriculture Research Institute (BARI) organized the training styled “Modern Techniques of Mug bean Farming in High Barind Tract” held at its Barind Station in Rajshahi city. Krishi Goveshona Foundation (KGF) under its pilot project titled “Crop Intensification to Barind Area through Drought Management” supported the training. Director (Training and Communication) of BARI Dr Mukhlesur Rahman and Deputy Director of Department of Agriculture Extension Nurul Amin addressed the training as chief and special guests respectively with Senior Scientific Officer Dr Abdus Salam in the chair. In his keynote presentation, Rabindra Kumar Majumder, Site Coordinator of the project, said the KGF has planned to bring 1200 bigha of land under mug bean cultivation in preliminary stage. “We will impart training to 1200 farmers to elevate their knowledge of how to cultivate the cash crop in modern method,” he said. Dr Mukhlesur Rahman referred to various salient features of Mug dal production. He said: “No additional cost for fertilizer, pesticide and irrigation is needed to cultivate this sort-term cash crop”. To make the cultivation popular and profitable at the growers’ level, the OFRD will conduct various programmes including farmers’ motivation and training, field demonstration and supplying necessary inputs like seed the years ahead. He added that mug bean is a drought tolerant short duration crop which fitted in the drought-prone area’s environment. So, the farmers are getting high yield and crop residue is added organic matter for soil health development, he pointed out. Deputy Director of DAE, Rajshahi Nurul Amin said the cultivation of Mug dal has been playing a significant role in crop intensity and diversification. Because, he said, the crop is short- term and it could be cultivated easily on the rice-based cropping pattern. Referring to the immense prospect of the crop, he also said that if the yield could be enhanced to the expected level through successful expansion of the modern cultivation method among the growers, country’s hard-earned foreign currencies would be saved. He said the country has to import huge Mug dal to meet its domestic demand. Since there is a bright prospect of increasing its acreage, he said Mug dal could be produced in larger amount with less production cost and the yield will, no doubt, lessen pressure on import.