Cultivation of both orange and malta fruits is gaining popularity in the country as farmers are making good profit by cultivating these tasty and juicy fruits.
According to sources, many of the farmers across the country have become successful in orange and malta farming due to lucrative market prices of these citrus fruits.Many people in the country cultivate the fruits in massive scales as both the fruits have good demands in local markets because of their natural sweetness. The nutrients in both orange and malta also offer a range of health benefits.
Many orchard owners have also started cultivating these high value fruits after being informed about their health benefits and successful commercial cultivation. Besides, many people are cultivating the fruits in their home yard, balcony and roof in almost all the districts.
Cultivation of these popular citrus fruits has been spreading in different districts since 2013 after BARI developed local varieties of orange and malta, said Faridul Hassan, director of Citrus Development Project of the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE).
He said orange was cultivated in Sylhet and some other hilly regions of the country earlier but under the Citrus Development Project, BARI-1 malta and orange are now being cultivated across the country.
“Currently the country’s orange production is about 24,053 metric tonnes and farmers are cultivating orange on 28,072 hectors of land. Malta production is about 5,021 metric tonnes and farmers are cultivating malta on around 1,200 hectors of land,” he said.
He said about 10 percent orange farming has been spread across the country along with malta. Moslem Uddin, a farmer of Gozaria village of Sakhipur in Tangail district, has set an instance of becoming successful through malta farming in the area.He started malta and orange farming on 5 acors of land through the support from the DAE three years earlier. Last year he received fruits from some of his plants.
This year the plants bear huge number of malta and he is expecting around 150 mounds of malta this season. Local fruit traders visited his orchard to have a look of the quality of the fruits, he said. The traders assured him that they will collect the malta with Tk 100 per kg from his orchard, he said.
Asaduzzaman, another farmer from Boda in Panchagarh District said he started cultivation of malta and orange since 2015. He cultivated orange on 30 decimal of land and malta on 20 deciaml of land. Last year he harvested 7.5 mounds of malta and sold at Tk 100 per kg to a vendor of agora.
The farmer said they do not need any money to cultivate the juicy fruits as DAE gave them support for everything. This year huge number of malta and orange trees get fruits and he is expecting huge profit from the fruits.
Farmers can cultivate the fruits on their vacant land those are not use for regular farming.
Farmers can harvest more than 100 fruits from every plant per season while sweetness of locally produced malta is nine times more than the foreign ones.
Flowering stage of BARI malta-1 is between March and April and farmers can harvest the fruits during September-October as it takes nine months to mature.