Coriander, locally known as bilati dhanne pata, cultivation is gaining popularity among farmers in Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) as the indigenous growers are earning handsome amount of money from the cultivation.
This year Rangamati coriander farmers are getting fair price while they were not happy due to price fall of the leaves last year.
On a recent visit to local markets, this correspondent saw that one kg of coriander leaf was sold at Tk 80 to Tk 100 while it was Tk 30 to Tk 60 last year.
Officials of Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) in Rangamati said around 500 acres of land have been brought under coriander cultivation in the district this year.
Commercial cultivation of coriander started in the hills about ten years ago and it is now growing in plain, slope and even high land in the district. Farmers cultivate coriander in February and harvest it within four to five months, he said.
In Rangamati, coriander is grown on a large scale in Waggya, Betbunia, Ghagra, Boga Para, Dulonnye, Sakrachhari and Ronnyechari of Kawkhali upazila and Bengchhari, Kaptai, Ram and Pahar in Kaptai upazila and Manikchhari and Naraichari in Rangamati Sadar.
A number of the families are directly involved with coriander cultivation.
“I got Tk 1 lakh by selling coriander leaves this year,” said smiling Dhana Ranjan Tanchangya, a coriander farmer of Debotachhari village in Kaptai upazila.
Farmers Hema Tanchangya, Ajit Tanchangya and Sushil Tanchangya of the same village said they also earned handsome amount of money from the cultivation.
“I have cultivated coriander on 10 bighas of land this year. I expect I will get better price this year than last year,” said farmer Basu Tanchangy of Shakkrachhari village in Kawkhali upazila.
"Last year a kg of coriander leaf was sold at Tk 70 to Tk 80. But this year I am selling for only Tk 40 to Tk 50," he added.
Trader Muhammad Abul Kalam from Chittagong town said the hilly coriander has high demand in the market because its taste is different than other coriander.