Sunday, 5 December, 2021

Commercial orange farming gets popular in Rajshahi

RAJSHAHI: Orange is now being cultivated on commercial basis in villages of the region including its vast Barind tract, as many people have changed their fortunes through the citrus fruit farming.

In near future, farming of the fruit will bring a revolution in the rural economy because its cultivation is gaining popularity among the farmers to a greater extent, reports BSS.

Matiur Rahman, a farmer of Amnura area, has brought five bighas of land under orange farming as an alternative crop to paddy. “I have transplanted orange saplings of oranges. I have already started getting fruit,” he said on Tuesday.

He said field level agricultural officials encouraged them to cultivate this citrus fruit. They have taken training from the agricultural office. Now, they are very optimistic about the good yield of the fruits.

Another farmer Iftekhar Munna of Bashantapur village under Godagari Upazila started cultivation of the fruit on 15 bighas of land after failing to cultivate paddy on the land due to scarcity of irrigation water. He had transplanted seedlings around five years back.

This year, he got Taka 9,500 after selling 100 kg of orange for the third consecutive time. Munna said one bigha of a farming field can give yield valued at around Taka 20,000 after spending Taka 7,000 to 8,000 per year. Orange plant can yield up to its age of 20 to 25 year at a stretch.

Commercial cultivation of the citrus fruit has begun at Godagari, Paba, Mohanpur and Bagmara of the district recently. This year, this fruit is expected to be produced well.

Abdul Matin, a farmer of Gofanagar village under Mohadevpur upazila in Naogaon district, has set an example of becoming successful through orange farming in the area.

After getting technical support from the local horticulture centre, Matin initiated the farming in 2016. Already, he has started getting fruit.

Now, there are 65 orange plants in his orchard. Apart from that, he has 60 malta, five lemons, seven papaya, two litchi and three coconut trees as intercropping. On the vacant lands, he has been cultivating turmeric and arum to get additional profit.

Alongside the orange, the farmers are also cultivating lemon in the areas under the cooperation from the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE).

The DAE office sources said this fruit has been cultivated in about 20 hectares of land in those upazilas since 2015. About 10,000 saplings are planted in the field. Local agriculture officials distributed the saplings to the farmers.

DASCOH Foundation, a non-government organisation, under its ‘Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) Project, is extending technical and financial support to the farmers for boosting the malta production in the region as part of its effort to promote the less-water consuming crops in the drought-prone area.

Coordinator of the project Jahangir Alam Khan said they provided financial support worth Taka 31.17 lakh for installation of 17 submersible pumps with seven solar panels for ensuring irrigation facilities to around 200 bigha of malta farming fields in drip method.

So far, 423 farmers and local government representatives were imparted training on how to cultivate the crop properly.

Principal Scientific Officer of Fruit Research Station Dr Alim Uddin said people are becoming increasingly interested in citrus fruit farming.

In terms of food and nutritive values green and ripe fruits are vital as these are enriched with enormous vitamin A, B, C, calcium and iron which are essential for human body irrespective of age and sex.

So, boosted up fruit farming is very important and helpful for the society as a whole, he added.