Once the rural economy ran only by agricultural products which failed to aid the living of people but recently the scenario has changed with the emergence of private nursery business.
The contribution of this sector in rural economy has changed the fortune of many villagers in recent years especially in Rangpur region.
Quoting Khondker Md Mesbahul Islam, Horticulture Specialist of the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE), BSS said that around 1.15-lakh people are involved directly or indirectly in nursery business at 38 government and 1,186 private sector nurseries in all five districts of the region.
He said adding the nursery business has become a very profitable venture helping the rural people to cut poverty and achieve self-reliance side by side with improving environment, ecology and bio-diversity.
The number of produced saplings of wood, fruit and medicinal trees is increasing every year with growing number of nurseries both in the private and government sectors.
More than 4,000 rural people are working in nurseries as the business is growing with increasing demand of saplings encouraging more people in setting up of new nurseries, Islam added.
The produced saplings of mango, jackfruit, orange, ‘segun’, ‘baukul’, ‘apple kul’, mahogany, ‘babla’, flowers, cinnamon, cardamom, guava, ‘amloki’, strawberry, grapes, litchi, black berry, ‘jamrul’, wood apple, pomegranate, ‘shilkorai’, ‘shishu’, ‘neem’, ‘sajina’, coconut and cane ‘golap jam’ are on the best sales.
Quoting Deputy Director of the DAE at its regional office Md Moniruzzaman BSS also said tree plantation campaign has become a successful social movement giving a further boost to nursery business.
The government news agency BSS has recently shared a story of successful nursery businessman Abdul Ohid Sheikh. The story is as follows:
Abdul Ohid Sheikh, 68, of Horkoli village near Paglapeer in Rangpur Sadar upazila has set up a glaring example of success in nursery business.
Ohid began his nursery business by setting up ‘Nasim Nursery’ from 1994 in the area. After his retirement from the post of a gardener in a government horticulture farm in 2006, Ohid Sheikh engaged his full efforts to the nursery business.
He said that currently he has expanded his nurseries on 32 acres of land, including six acres of his own lands and 26 acres taken on lease at Horkoli, Sholeyasha, Rotirampur and Modern Mour areas in Sadar upazila.
“There are some 10-lakh saplings of different varieties fruit, wood and medicinal trees at my nurseries where more than 100 farm-labourers are working at salaries between Taka 7,000 and Taka 10,000 per month,” Sheikh said.
The mostly sold saplings are of ‘Haribhanga’, ‘Lengra’, ‘Ruplai’, ‘Gopalbhog’, ‘Aswina’, ‘Misribhog’, ‘Khheershapati’, ‘Fazlee’ varieties of mango and ‘Bedana’, ‘China’, ‘Bombay’ and ‘Madrazi’ varieties of litchi in his nurseries.
Besides, saplings of ‘Akasmoni’, ‘Ekashia Cross’, ‘Manzium’, ‘Rain tree’, ‘Amra’, ‘Dalim’, Black berry, Jackfruit’, Lemon, Olive, Papaya, ‘Neem’, ‘‘Agar’ and other varieties of fruit, medicinal and timber tress are largely being sold, he added.
Ohid Sheikh said his saplings are being supplied to all over the country and he sells 5,000 to 6,000 pieces of saplings from his nurseries daily at rates between Taka 50 and Taka 500 on an average.