Over 4.50-lakh tonnes of fruits worth Taka 1,227 crore had been cultivated during the last 2017-2018 fiscal in Rangpur agriculture region to achieve self-reliance after meeting nourishment.
Khondker Md Mesbahul Islam, Horticulture Specialist of the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) said farmers are expanding fruit cultivation every year getting repeated bumper production and lucrative price in recent years.
He said, in last ten years around 41,500 farmers and common people have achieved self-reliance through fruit cultivation that has become a profitable agricultural venture in the region.
During the 2017-2018 fiscal, farmers cultivated 42 varieties of high- priced, quick growing, high yielding, hybrid and indigenous varieties of fruits on 24,805 hectares of land in the region and produced 4.50- lakh tonnes worth Taka 1,227 crore.
Showing the statistic Mesbahul said, farmers produced 83,764 tonnes of mango worth Taka 335 crore, 1.02-lakh tonnes of jackfruit worth Taka 51.20 crore and 14,848 tonnes of litchi worth Taka 148.50 crore and 17,188 tonnes of guava worth Taka 86 crore.
The farmers also produced 1.39-lakh tonnes of banana worth Taka 111.50 crore, 5,925 tonnes of ‘jujube’ worth Taka 30 crore, 18,280 tonnes of papaya worth Taka 22 crore and 11,659 tonnes of coconut worth Taka 30 crore.
The commercial basis cultivation of fruits is expanding every year in the region as farmers are getting repeated bumper yield to earn huge profits in recent years, Islam added.
Mesbahul predicted that the overall production of fruits might be around five lakh tonnes worth Taka 1,300 crore during the current 2018-2019 fiscal following expanded cultivation in the region.
The DAE and other agriculture related organisations are assisting farmers and commoners in expanding fruit cultivation to achieve self-reliance and improve their nutritional status on the way to build a healthier nation.
The farmers are mostly cultivating mango, litchi, banana, jackfruit, papaya, ‘lotkon’, coconut, water melon, jujube, jackfruit, black berry, orange, ‘Malta’, lemon, strawberry, olive, wood apple, guava, ‘bangi’, ‘amloki’ and many other fruits.
Abdul Ohid Sheikh, owner of ‘Nasim Nursery’ of village Horkoli in Rangpur Sadar upazila said he earns well by selling his produced saplings of many varieties of mango, litchi and other varieties of fruits every year.
Nursery businessmen Abdul Wahab and Karim Uddin of different areas said are earning better profits by selling saplings of the traditional, high-valued and quick growing and other varieties of fruits from their nurseries every year.
Civil Surgeon of Rangpur Dr Abu Md Zakirul Islam said extent of malnutrition related diseases significantly reduced following improvement in nutritional status of common people as a result of increasing production and consumption of fruits.