GHATAIL: Farming of Apple Kul, a hybrid variety of plums, have become boon for many grassroots farmers as they are getting more income from the fruit cultivation in the upazila.
Like the previous year, the newly harvested fruit along with other ones have appeared in the local markets abundantly at present making both the sellers and buyers happy.“I’m heavily satisfied upon getting the seasonal fruit regularly since the winter season began,” said Shamim, a school teacher of Ghatail upazila. Farmers have been inspired to grow the fruit after watching a video on Youtube.
Ataur Rahman, a farmer of the upazila said “I was inspired to grow the fruit after watching different videos on Youtube. Cultivating the plum variety with an investment of Tk 60,000, I is now looking to earn Tk 3,50,000.”
“I was unable to maintain my family with a small grocery shop and agricultural work. So I looked for alternatives,” said the farmer,” Ataur brought 150 seedlings of the Apple Kul from a nursery in Chuadanga last year, planting them on 35 decimals of land.
Within 10 months, the plants started to yield the fruit.
“I have already sold half of the fruit in the market,” he said, adding that he sold the fruit for Tk 90-100 a kilogram. A plant yielded about 60-65 kg Apple Kul, he said. Ataur said that he was planning on making another garden of Apple Kul by leasing 60 decimals of land. The large-sized fruit had a good demand in the market, he said.
This variety looks like a middle-sized apple. It has red on its yellow and green texture. Its taste is better than other varieties, like bau kul and Thai kul. Its size is larger than the two varieties. Ghatail Agriculture Officer Dilshad Jahan said initiative has been taken to expand the farming of the fruit among the farmers in general.Taking advantage of the situation, farmers are seen showing their interest in farming the fruit for the last couple of years due to better output and market price.
The local office of the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) believes that the story of Ataur will be an inspiration for others.
“Commercial cultivation of Apple Kul will expand throughout the region,” said Dilshad Jahan, the upazila agriculture officer.
She said that the Kul seedlings were brought to the district in late 2017, but it was Ataur who started its commercial cultivation for the first time.
The fruit farming has gained popularity in several other districts of the country, she said, noting that the high yield of the fruit, its taste, good demand and fair price in the market were the reasons behind its popularity.