NARSINGDI: A number of unemployed educated youths have changed their fortune by farming Colombo Lemon of Monohardi, Shibpur, Belabo and Raipura upazilas of the district in the last twelve years.
The unemployed youths have started cultivation of Colombo lemon in small scale on experimental basis in four upazilas of the district and achieved remarkable success. Their success encourages many others to cultivate and raise orchards of the juicy and extraordinary flavor fruit.Seeing the interest of the farmers and found climate and soil of the district suitable for Colombo lemon cultivation, the Department Agriculture Extension (DAE) on 2012 has taken a programme to cultivate export quality lemon in four upazilas- Shibpur, Belabo, Monohardi and Raipura of the district.
Under the programme, a total of 50 new orchards of Colombo lemon (each orchard spread one bigha) were set up in the four upazilas of the district.
The DAE supplied 160 sapling of Colombo lemon to each grower of the orchards and imparted them training on producing quality lemon.
Besides some farmers in different areas of the district raised a number of orchards by their own initiative and they are at present harvesting good quality lemon from their orchards.
According to the DAE Narsingdi, farmers in four upazilas of the district at present cultivating Colombo lemon in 2200 orchards on 480 hectares land. This year, they have so far produced over 5200 metric tons of lemon in the district.
Khandaker Mahabub of Dattargoan village under Shibpur upazila of the district started lemon cultivation on 30 decimals lands in 2006. He succeeded in cultivation the Colombo lemon and gradually raised garden by planting 800 saplings on 120 decimals of land and the plants growing well.This year he got an excellent production from his gardens. He expressed his satisfaction for earned so far Taka 3,00,000 selling the lemon this season.
Farmer Babul Chowdhury of Lakshimipur village under Raipura upazila of the district also narrated his successful story cultivating the Colombo lemon in his 300 decimals land.
He said this year so far he earned Taka 7,00,000 by selling lemon from his garden.
Deputy Director, Department of Agriculture Extension, Narsingdi Shovan Kumar Dhar told that Colombo lemon has great demand in the local markets and other distance markets.
Now, this variety of lemon is exporting in abroad especially European countries and Middle East countries. Each Kilogram Colombo lemon is being sold at Tk 50 to 60 in the local markets which contain only 4 to 5 pieces per kilogram.
He said April, May and June are the best season of harvesting Colombo lemon. He hopes this year Narsingdi district will be exported over 2000 metric tons of Colombo lemon to foreign countries.
The Deputy Director said Colombo lemon tree generally grows on high fallow lands where scope of other crop cultivation is limited. Some 200 saplings can be planted on per bigha of land which produce an average 50 to 60 mounds. Each tree bears 80 to100 lemon in a year.
He opined that the expanding of Colombo lemon has created huge jobs in the gardens of the district. The country could earn huge foreign exchange every year by exporting the Colombo lemon.