Fortune in papaya
Unemployed Debobrata Chakma has proved once again that hard work and strong willpower can bring success to anyone, no matter where he is from.
In a diehard attempt to fight the hardship of his three-member family, the 24-year-old youth from Shivmandir area of Sadar upazila has cultivated papaya on one bigha of land for the first time without any prior experience and hope to make a good profit from the fruit.
Seeing his fruit bearing papaya trees, many local farmers are now planning to do the same as no one in the area has ever tried papaya cultivation before.
Due to acute financial crisis, Debobrata could not complete his graduation (BA Pass Course) and had to engage himself in agricultural works to feed his mother and younger sister since his father left the family and became a monk about six years ago.
His younger sister, who was an honours student at Khagrachhari Government College, also had to leave her study for want of money.
Besides papaya, Debobrata also cultivates Malta, banana and different vegetables to manage his livelihood as he is the only bread earner of the family.
In April this year, Debobrata planted 620 papaya plants in one bigha of land and the trees became fruit bearing within six months.
Now, on average, each tree has been bearing at least 15 papayas and he will start to sell those very soon.
Debobrata said he purchased each red lady hybrid variety of papaya seedlings for Tk 30 and had to spend a total of Tk 80 thousand for his entire garden.
One of his neighbours Champa Chakma said Debobrata has become an example for locals as no one in the area had previously thought of cultivating papaya on commercial basis.
Deputy Director (DD) of Khagrachhari Horticulture Centre Moazzem Hossain said while visiting Debobrata's papaya garden he found that the trees were planted without keeping much gap.
As a result, the trees have become thinner and short in size and they are not likely to break, the DD said.