Phuterjhiri village is located in Bandarban’s Lama. Rubber, litchi, mango and many other fruits are cultivated in there. The hills are so high that it is quite difficult to see what is growing there. So, I went to see the place from very close. Continue Reading
Mango season knocks at the door. Throughout this season, mango will be like
a national fruit. Planned mango orchards have been set up in hills, estates,
chars, high and low-lying areas. Continue Reading
Cultivated in many districts, Bangladesh has become adept at producing guavas. Indeed the country has become the 8th largest guava producer worldwide.
Yet, when guavas first arrive in a new district it often takes the initiative and courage of a few pioneers to demonstrate its viability. Such has been the case in Chapainawabganj, where the efforts of Matiur Rahman have been at the forefront of introducing the guava orchard.
“Initially many people told me not to try cultivating guavas,” says Rahman, “but I took it as a challenge.”
A decade ago Rahman leased 11 bighas of land in Chapainawabganj’s Jamtala for his guava orchard, involving assets of about Taka 80 lakhs. Since then, with patience and hard work, he has expanded his plantation to 61bighas dedicated not only to guavas but a range of fruits.
Rahman follows the bagging method to protect his guava crop from pests. He cuts the stems regularly to promote growth. About guavas, Rahman is a passionate man.
“They are like my children,” he says while holding a guava hanging from one of the trees, “I love them, care for them and understand what they need.”
Coupled with market research and considerable study of guava cultivation techniques, Rahman is a lesson to all that a lot careful planned steps most often mark the journey of a successful farmer.
“There is always demand for guavas,” says Rahman, “but I focus on selling during the non-traditional dry months, including winter.” The decision to focus on dry season guavas is indicative of his willingness to pursue innovation. It has helped him secure handsome profits for his endeavours.
Rahman is fortunate in that wholesalers will often buy the whole orchard, which he also hopes to achieve for the harvest from his more than 600 pomegranate trees. “I anticipate I will get a good price for the pomegranates too,” says a confident Rahman.
He also has hundreds of malta trees, from which he has established a malta nursery. Rahman believes by selling each malta sapling for Tk 200 to farmers he can realise about Tk 28 lakhs.
After mangoes, guavas are now the second most important fruit crop nationally. According to the Department of Agriculture Extension around 400,000 tonnes are produced annually, adding up to Tk 6,000 crore to the economy.
Farmers have realised the benefits of guavas. Thanks to pioneering efforts of entrepreneurs like Matiur Rahman, the economic blessing of guava production will continue to find new soil, with orchard expansion into previously non-guava-growing districts like Chapainawabganj.
Four decades ago, Honours graduate Ainab Ali went abroad in search of his fortune. Ironically, it was when he returned home and turned to guava cultivation that he truly found success. “The decision to go abroad wasn’t the right decision,” he says. “It’s better to grow guavas.” Continue Reading
Alongside the road from Bhaluka in Mymensingh to Tangail are many jackfruit orchards and, as at a few days ago, there were thousands of ripe jackfruits on the trees. Although the fruit is ready for harvest, growers are not proceeding due to low market prices. Continue Reading