Sunday, 5 February, 2023

Orange farming gets popular in Rajshahi

RAJSHAHI: Mazharul Islam, 45, a resident of Benipur village under Godagari Upazila in Rajshahi district, has become delighted through his orange farming venture as it has inspired him to go ahead with courage.

In June, 2020, he had transplanted 800 saplings of orange on seven bigha of land after collecting those from Chuadanga. He has started harvesting fruit for the first time and selling at Taka 150 per kilogram from his orchard directly this year.

Islam, a repatriate from Korea, is very much hopeful about harvesting 25 kilograms from each of the trees together with selling of orange worth around Taka 20 lakh from next year.

Prior to starting his venture, he got need-based suggestions and other technical support from the upazila office of the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE).

Sub Assistant Agriculture Officer Atanu Sarker told BSS that agriculture of the remotest Benipur village is improved, modernised and dependent on technology.

Orange of Mazharul Islam’s orchard is very tasty and juicy and weight of 6-7 oranges is one kilogram.

Currently, the village abounds with orchards and gardens of orange, malta, guava, mango and other fruits and vegetables. In addition to production, the village has set examples of producing safe fruit and vegetables besides meeting family demands after the best uses of vacant lands.

Sarker said the villagers are habituated to balanced and organic fertilisation, organic pesticides and other methods related to sex-pheromone trap, yellow trap and limited use of chemical fertiliser for safe fruit and vegetable production.

Talking to the agency here Saturday, Mozdar Hossain said orange is now being cultivated on a commercial basis in villages of the region, including its vast Barind tract, as many people have changed their fortunes through 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.

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 while talking to the agency on Friday.

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.

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.

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