All eyes are now on orange cultivation as high quality orange has opened up an avenue of earning for the growers in the district, although the region is famous for its high quality mango.
One man, with his individual effort, has created a revolution with his orange cultivation at Barind region in Atahar area under Sadar upazila.
He is Motiur Rahman, a driver of the district Roads and Highways Department. He lives at Rehaichar in the town.
The Barind region has hard and dry soil, and cultivation in the almost barren soil is really a challenge even for the hardest working farmers.
“I cultivated malta five years ago. After getting success, I started cultivating orange,” said Motiur.
The driver turned himself into a successful farmer. He leased 16 bighas of land from different people in 2006 and built up his Manamina Nursery. He planted mango, guava, malta and other fruits on the dry land at Atahar, 10 kilometres from the town. Now he has five orchards, covering a total of 62 bighas, at different places in Barind region.
In 2013, he planted 200 saplings of malta in his orchard and expanded his orchards. He harvested malta every year from then on.
After his success in malta cultivation, he collected 200 saplings of five species of orange from Jashore in 2015 at a cost of Tk 2 lakh and planted them on his land. The plants started bearing fruit this year and he got a bumper yield, Motiur said.
He harvested 800 kg of oranges this year, and expects to earn around Tk 2 lakh. He planted 500 more saplings in his other orchard at Amnura.
He said he is getting around 50 to 200 oranges, weighing 40 grams to 300 grams each, from each tree.
He also produced 1,000 saplings and sells each sapling for Tk 200, and has already sold 600 of them. He will produce 2,000 more saplings, he said.
He uses pheromone traps at the orchards to protect the fruit from insects.
Several farmers sought assistance from him after seeing bumper production of orange.
The trees flower during June-July and the harvesting period is November-December.
“Soil with good drainage facility, like that in the Barind region, is suitable for growing orange. With proper irrigation, it can provide high yield as the variety is less vulnerable to pests and disease,” said horticulturist Johurul Islam.
The orange are sweeter than imported oranges, Motiur said.
Dr Saifur Rahman, deputy director of Horticulture Centre in Chapainawabganj, said the soil in Barind region is favourable for orange cultivation.
The oranges grown at the Motiur's orchard are very sweet and the bright yellow colour and size are very attractive, he said.
He expects that cultivation area of the orange orchards will increase due to the quality and demand, adding that it has a good future in Barind region.