May 26, 2024, 2:44 am

Citrus fruit farming becomes boon for Rajshahi people

  • Update Time : Monday, May 6, 2024
  • 11 Time View
Photo: Collected

BSS, Rajshahi:
Farming of citrus fruits has become a boon for many people, particularly the farmers and traders, as it has made them financially solvent in the region including its vast Barind tract during the last couple of years. Commercial farming of various citrus fruits, including malta, lemon, orange, jujube and batabi lime has increased to a greater extent in the last couple of years. The venture has been infusing dynamism into the economy of the region as many people are keen to cultivate the collateral cash crops. Mazharul Islam, a returnee migrant from South Korea, has proved himself as a successful entrepreneur since his involvement in various citrus fruit farming in Rajshahi barind area. Islam, a resident of Benipur village under Godagari upazila, has, so far, developed fruit orchards on 43 bigha of lands taken lease from others and two bigha of his own land. Currently, he has 3,200 jujube trees as inter-cropping and 1,400 other high yielding jujube trees separately and all those are in fruit-bearing condition at present. Besides, he has china lemon farming on 20 bigha and china and Darjeeling orange on six bigha, BARI Malta-1 on six bigha and guava on six bigha of lands. When he was in South Korea he learnt how to produce fruits of new varieties after the best uses of modern farming technologies. He was awarded the Employment Permit System (EPS) award by the Korean government as recognition for his seven best practices including discipline, Korean language, remittance and social works. After getting the EPS award he travelled to Australia, Canada, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Portugal and France with the Korean government. Besides, he was given the proposal of providing a green card on behalf of the Korean government. But, he returned to his homeland amidst attraction to it instead of accepting the lucrative proposal in 2018. Since then, he kept himself involved in the fruit gardening in addition to various seasonal vegetables as intercropping and emerged himself as a potential fruit farmer. Another returnee-migrant Kawsar Ali developed a malta orchard on a one-acre of land at Godagari upazila in Rajshahi. Returning home from abroad after 12 years, Ali put in all-out efforts in the orchard. He planted Bari Malta-1 saplings two years ago, seeing a good return from the farming of the fruits. In the current season, he has, so far, harvested and sold malta worth around Taka 1.5 lakh. Kawsar Ali said when he returned home, he was confused about what to do. Then he became interested in farming Malta seeing many others in the locality. He also learned that the farmers can get a good return from the farming of Malta as there is high demand for the fruit in the local market. But the fruit can be harvested after three years of planting the seedlings. Obaidullah Shah, a farmer of Tentulia village in Porsha upazila of Naogaon, has established a Malta orchard through transplanting 1,560 saplings on seven bighas of land in 2018 first. He harvested fruit of around Taka 2.5 lakh the following year and earned around Taka six lakh last year. He’s expecting one and a half maund of fruit from each of the trees this year. “I have established one more orchard on six bigha of land this year,” said Obaidullah. He gets suggestions from the local agricultural extension and research offices regularly. Shah said commercial cultivation of the citrus fruits has begun in many areas making the farmers happy and enthusiastic side by side with vibrating the local economic activities.
Cultivation of Malta fruit will bring a revolution in the local economy as hundreds of people from ultra-poor families have attained self-reliance by cultivating the delicious fruit. Agriculturist ATM Rafiqul Islam opined that demand of the fruits has also risen among the consumers.
Many health experts are seen suggesting the patients to consume more citrus fruits to gain instant energy coupled with boosting their body immunity.
Islam said green and ripe fruits are enriched with vitamin A, B, C, calcium and iron which are essential for the human body.
Talking to BSS here on Thursday, Sirajul Islam, former director of the Department of Agriculture Extension, said in terms of food and nutritive values green and ripe fruits are vital as these are enriched with enormous vitamin A, B, C, calcium and iron which are essential for human body irrespective of age and sex. So, boosting fruit farming is very important and helpful for the society as a whole. He said many health experts were seen suggesting the patients to consume more citrus fruits to protect them from coronavirus infection with early recovery.

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