In an attempt to change his fortune, Tofazzal Hossain went to Saudi Arabia a few years back, after selling all his arable land and taking loan from local moneylenders.
Four years later, the 40-year-old man from Kachua village in Sakhipur upazila, however, returned home almost empty handed in 2016.
After returning home, when a bewildered Tofazzal was running here and there to find an employment opportunity for livelihood, he learnt through facebook that several people have changed their luck and brought them solvency by cultivating Kashmiri Kul (a kind of plum).
As Tofazzal had no land left, he took lease of two acres of land from a land owner of his village for 10 years with a cost of Tk 40,000 every year.
Last year, he planted 1,200 Kashmiri Kul plants on the leased land after collecting the saplings from Chuadanga.
The Kashmiri kul variety looks like a small apple and its colour is red on light yellow and green. Moreover, the fruit tastes better than the other varieties like ‘Baukul’ and ‘Thai kul’.
Within a year, fortune smiles on Tofazzal as he got a bumper production of the fruit. The young farmer is expecting at least 10 tonnes of production this year.
“I have invested a total of Tk 4 lakh to raise the orchard,’’ Tofazal said, adding that each sapling cost him Tk 100.
He has already started selling the fruit from his orchard this season and expecting to earn Tk 10 lakh from his produces.
“Bau kul is sold at Tk 50 to Tk 60 per kg at the wholesale markets while my Kashmiri kul is selling for Tk 100 per kg,” Tofazzal said.
Alongside engaging eight locals as day labourer, Tofazzal, a father of three, also works at his orchard every day.
“I share my experience with people, who come to see my orchard,” he said.
Sakhipur Upazila Agriculture Officer Nurul Haque said different fruits and vegetables grow well here as the land is much fertile.
Although, farmers here cultivate different varieties of plum, the Kashmiri variety not only looks nice but also tastes delicious, he said.