There are some people, who are moving back to their roots in the village, as the cities does not have any appeal to them anymore. This is a trend I have been observing of late and such a person is Shamsul Alam. After serving at a bank throughout his entire life, he has now returned to his home district in Tangail because he doesn’t want to spend his time in the cities anymore.
He returned to the village because he has found himself to be very intricately in tune with fresh air of the rural environment, farmlands and the livelihood. Already he has set up a 60-acre orchard where he planted lemon, guava and dragon fruits and it is a great endeavour.
I went to Tangail to see this man. In the past, most of the farmlands in the district were used for crops like paddy, jute and so on. But the face of agriculture is changing every day and it is the ideal time for diversified farming. Moreover, the educated mass are turning themselves into farming with high value crops.
Shamsul’s orchard is such a place. Shamsul has made his dream true at his native village Modhupurchala.
Just a year ago, nothing was grown here except pineapples. The fields are slowly changing into different crops including high yielding cash crops. Lemon is most farmed here and its importance is also now in line.
Shamsul started with only a few bighas of land by planting lemon plants back in 2014 and now he has over 60 acres of land. He has different varieties of lemons in his orchard.
“Many exporters visit my orchard and advised me to expand my orchard,” Shamsul shares.
“Did you export anywhere,” I curiously asked.
“My lemons already reached the markets in Dubai, Malaysia and many more countries,” he gladly replied.
“I’m born once, and will die once. I don’t do it for profits, but for my soul,” smilingly added Shamsul.
Although, most of Shamsul’s land is leased, he also has some for his own land.
The fruit orchard of retired banker Shamsul, specially the successful production of lemon and dragon fruits tell us the story of a great initiative. This is not only an example of success, rather a great inspiring story for those who keeps the passion for farming from the core of their hearts.
From planting, Shamsul monitors the growing of lemons and even packaging. He deals with domestic and international markets.
“I keep my lemon trees safe like a baby is kept in a mother’s womb”, says Shamsul.
Each tree produces about 1000 to 3000 lemons. Shamsul believes this season he will get at least 2000 lemons from one tree. The current price of each lemon is Tk 4 (USD 0.047) on an average and he may earn Tk 8000 (USD 94.73) from a single tree in a season.
“Last year my net season income from the orchard was about Tk 22 lakh (USD 26,050)”, says a happy Shamsul.
In the beginning, expenses were a bit high for dragon fruits. Making of pillars were the prime reason during his experimental effort.
Later on, he built 180 pillars and earned Tk 2 lakh (USD 2,368) from his voluntary initiative and started caring a bit more for the trees.
This season, the same number of pillars have helped him earn Tk 5 lakh (USD 5,920), which has inspired Shamsul to build another 250 new pillars to grow even more.
“I felt incredible when I sold dragon fruits worth about Tk 5 lakh this season”, the successful farmer added.
Dear readers, Bangladesh is agriculturally one of the most enriched countries around the world. Our agricultural products are gradually reaching all corners of the world. It is high time to bring variety in farming and that’s where the issue of diversified farming comes in. Farmers are moving more towards high value-crops with better technology and agricultural inputs.
It is really wonderful to see that once a high-ranked bank official has become such a great agro-entrepreneur.
What else could have been the best thing to do after retirement? Shamsul’s soul is so connected to his roots. He enjoys his farming creativity and his return to the roots is giving him a lot of mental peace. It’s not that Shamsul wanted to do this just for earning some quick money. He felt deep down from the heart, he must do it. And the last wish of Shamsul is quite extraordinary to hear--“I want to spend my last days with the crops.”
May all your wishes come true Shamsul Alam.