Highly nutritious alu bukhara, a kind of plum, used to add deliciousness to different foods and drinks like sherbet and burhani, now sees successful cultivation in Bangladesh, thanks to the initiative of a nurseryman in Muktagacha upazila under the district.
Four years ago, Md Shawkat Ali, owner of Banolata Nursery in Muktagachha, planted a sapling of alu bukhara that he bought from Bangladesh Agricultural University (BAU) Germ Plasma Centre.
"I started getting fruits from a tree last year. The plant bore more fruits this year. I received around 40 kg of fruit this year from an alu bukhara tree and the sale is on now. I have also produced around 350 saplings so far," said a smiling Shawkat.
The price of per kg fruit is Tk 1000 to Tk 1200 in the local market while a sapling is selling for Tk 400 Tk 500.
"Last year, I distributed some fruits among the relatives as it was the first yield. Now there are also ten matured alu bukhara trees at my nursery which will hopefully bear fruits next year. I am preserving seeds to grow more saplings of alu bukhara and meet the demand of other nurserymen in and outside Muktagachha," said Shawkat.
The demand of saplings has increased this year and many nurserymen from Dhaka, Bogra, Jessore and Mymensingh region are contacting me for seeds and saplings, informed Shawkat.
Prof Dr Abdur Rahim, director of Bangladesh Agricultural University Germ Plasma Centre, said Shawkat has become successful in producing alu bukhara as the climate of this country is favourable for its cultivation.
"It can be a great source of income for many farmers as the fruit sees increasing demand in Bangladesh. It has also potential for export if it is cultivated on a large scale," he said.
The tree bears fruits from May to July.