The farmers of Dumuria upazila in Khulna district are bringing their fortune by growing the profitable foreign fruit - dragon, gaining popularity in the area.
Seeing its profitability, favorable growing condition and bright potential, the farmers of the upazila are becoming very much enthusiastic day by day to produce the fruit for making money.
Department of the Agricultural Extension (DAE), Dumuria, sources said the dragon fruit was known as 'pitaya' in Thailand and the origin of the fruit is in South America.
Some 50 interested farmers of Dumuria upazila took training from a project conducted by the Bangladesh Agricultural University (BAU) in Mymensingh four years back and brought their land under dragon cultivation.
After growing the fruit in their land, many farmers are making profit from their farming as the soil and weather are favorable for dragon production.
Besides, it can be planted in any kind of soil, except swampy land.
Shahinur Rahman, a dragon fruit grower, said he planted 50 saplings of dragon fruit around his shrimp enclosure after taking part in the training programme of BAU.
After one year, it started producing fruit through the proper use of chemical free fertiliser, he said, adding that each dragon tree can produce 20 kgs of fruit per year.
"I got 1,000 kgs of dragon fruit from my farmland in the last year and I sold those to local customers at Tk 400 per kg. I didn't face any problem to sell the fruit as the customers bought it directly from my field. I gained a profit of Tk 4 lakh after selling the fruit," said Shahinur.
Besides, the saplings of dragon fruit are being sold at Tk 50 per piece in the local market, he added.
I also sold the dragon saplings in different countries including India, he said.
Each dragon plant lasts for 20 years and the weight of each fruit is 300-350 gram. The core of the fruit is red flesh.
The dragon fruit cultivation can play a vital role in solving the unemployment problem in the country, he opined.
Nazrul Islam, an agriculturist of Dumuria DAE, said there is a bright potentiality of the dragon fruit cultivation in the northern districts, Mymensingh and Khulna.
"Dragon fruit is delicious and nutritious. The fibrous fruit is rich in vitamins B and C and it is also helpful for diabetic patients," he continued.