Fruits new saviour of Rangpur farmers
Over 25,000 people in Rangpur region have made their fortune by growing different kinds of fruits in five districts.
Repeated bumper production and lucrative selling price have been encouraging the farmers and other people to get into the fruit cultivation and fruit business.
The government is also providing assistance for flourishing fruit farming that has become one of the most profitable ventures bringing a silent revolution to improve socioeconomic and nutritional status of the public.
According to official sources, farmers and common people have been producing 88,000 tonnes of various fruits worth Tk 638 crore annually in their orchards and homesteads on 10,000 hectares of land in the districts of Rangpur region.
Horticulture Specialist Khandker Md Mesbahul Islam of the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) said fruit cultivation is thriving especially through private sector initiatives.
The agriculture-related departments, institutes and research organisations are providing necessary supports which are effectively influencing the expansion of fruit cultivation in the orchards, homesteads and fallow lands.
This year, fruit growers have produced 77,000 tonnes of mangoes worth Tk 308 crore in their orchards and homesteads in Rangpur, Kurigram, Lalmonirhat, Gaibandha and Nilphamari districts.
"There are over 4.75 lakh fruit-giving mango trees in 5,000 orchards and 12.5 lakh more in the homesteads situated on 7,000 hectares of land in Rangpur region now," he said.
Besides, the farmers and common people have produced 9,000 tonnes of litchis worth over Tk 180 crore in their orchards and homesteads in the region in this season.
Currently, there are 2.5 lakh fruit-giving litchi trees in 3,000 orchards while 1 lakh more in homesteads situated on 1,500 hectares of land in the districts, he added.
The farmers are also producing 2,000 tonnes of indigenous fruits, including bananas, papayas, jackfruits, black berries, strawberries, olives, wood apples, guavas, grapes and figs, worth Tk 150 crore annually, he said.
Fruit growers Nasimul Haque, Mominur Rahman and Bulbul Ahmed are some names from the bunch of people who made their fortune by growing fruits.
Nursery owners Mokhlesur Rahman, Abdus Sobhan and Abdul Malek said they are making profit by selling saplings of the traditional, high-valued and quick growing fruits from their nurseries every year.