A little piece of cropland in Sreepur upazila of Gazipur is now abuzz with local visitors after a couple in the area managed to harvest a full bloom of tulips, a plant that has grown for the first time in Bangladesh.
It is considered a popular ornamental plant across the world and husband-and-wife duo Shelly and Delwar Hossain from Kewa Dakshinkhan village are now proud owners of nearly 1,000 tulips.
Last year, they planted 1,000 bulbs at the end of December, all of which bloomed in 22 days, reports our Gazipur correspondent.
Delwar and Shelly have been cultivating flowers for nearly fifteen years now. They initially planted gladiolas when they started experimenting with foreign flowers and eventually moved on to lilium and gerbera.
Back in 2017, the duo received a short training from a Dutch company named Royal Van Zanten in Netherlands. They returned with 60,000 bulbs of lilium and other agricultural tools. Over the years they have remained in touch with the organisation, as part of which they received 1,000 tulip bulbs for free.
"Flowers started to bloom within 22 days of planting the bulbs on just one decimal of land," said Shelly.
"Every day we get visitors who want to take a look at the tulip field. They have even wanted to buy the flowers for Tk 80 per piece but we did not make any sale because this is the first time we have cultivated tulips," Delwar told The Daily Star.
Delwar also said the two would like to cultivate tulips commercially after receiving more in-depth training from Netherlands.
He highlighted the need for government support in receiving training and procuring materials to improve the flower cultivation sector in the country.
The initiative has not only captivated locals but has also drawn accolades from the authorities.
"They have proven that tulip can be grown successfully in Bangladesh. This is the first time I have seen the flowers bloom here and we will discuss the matter with policymakers so that in future Bangladesh can grow tulips as an export commodity," said Dr Md Abdul Muyeed, director general of the Department of Agricultural Extension.
Tulip, a member of the lily family, was originally found in a band stretching from Southern Europe to Central Asia, but since the seventeenth century it has grown in popularity and is widely cultivated now.