Farmers produce 3.35 lakh tonnes fruits in Rangpur region

RANGPUR, Sept 8, 2018 (BSS) – The farmers produced 3.35 lakh tonnes of
fruits worth Taka 934 crore during the 2016-2017 fiscal in all five districts
under Rangpur agriculture region and earned well after meeting nutrition of
their family members.

Officials of the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) said some 40,000
farmers have achieved self-reliance through fruit cultivation that has become
a profitable venture in the agriculture sector in the region.

“The farmers are expanding cultivation of fruits on commercial basis every
year after getting repeated bumper production with lucrative price in recent
years,” said Khondker Md Mesbahul Islam, Horticulture Specialist of the DAE
at its regional office.

He said the farmers produced 3.35 lakh tonnes of 41 varieties of high-
priced, quick growing, high yielding, hybrid and indigenous varieties of
fruits cultivated on 24,251 hectares of land worth Taka 934 crore during the
2016-2017 fiscal in the region.

Of them, they produced 79,667 tonnes of mango worth Taka 320 crore, 64,279
tonnes of jackfruit worth Taka 32 crore and 13,285 tonnes of litchi worth
Taka 133 crore and 16,990 tonnes of guava worth Taka 85 crore.

They produced 93,122 tonnes of banana worth Taka 56 crore, 4,972 tonnes of
‘jujube’ worth Taka 27 crore, 17,592 tonnes of papaya worth Taka 18 crore and
11,775 tonnes of coconut worth Taka 29.50 crore.

Besides, the farmers produced 15,976 tonnes of betel nut worth Taka 160
crore and 17,437 tonnes of 33 other varieties of fruits worth Taka 73.50
crore during the 2016-2017 fiscal.

“The total production of fruits might be around 3.50 lakh tonnes worth Taka
950 crore during the just ended 2017-2018 fiscal in the region as the field
level statistics are being compiled now to get the final figure,” Islam said.

Deputy Director of the DAE Md Moniruzzaman said the farmers are expanding
fruit farming on their orchards and homesteads in Rangpur, Kurigram,
Lalmonirhat, Gaibandha and Nilphamari districts under the region.

“The agriculture related departments and organisations are providing
assistance to the farmers for expanding fruit cultivation to improve
socioeconomic and nutritional statuses of the rural people to build a
healthier nation,” he said.

“The farmers are mostly cultivating mango, litchi, banana, jackfruit,
papaya, ‘lotkon’, coconut, water melon, jujube, jackfruit, black berry,
orange, ‘Malta’, lemon, strawberry, olive, wood apple, guava, ‘bangi’,
‘amloki’, and other fruits,” Moniruzzaman added.

Successful farmers Mostafizur Rahman and Mohammad Morsalin of village
Podaganj and Lutfar Rahman of Tekani village under Mithapukur upazila here
said they changed their fortune through farming ‘Haribhanga’ variety mango in
recent years.

Farmers Babul Hossain, Babul Mian and Abdur Rahim of different villages
here said they achieved self-reliance through producing both of the high-
priced, quick-growing, hybrid and traditional fruits like many others during
the past ten years.

Divisional Director (Health) Dr Md Mostafizar Rahman said malnutrition
related diseases marked reduction in recent years following improvement in
nutritional status of common people as a result of increasing production and
consumption of fruits.

President of Rangpur Chamber Mostafa Sohrab Chowdhury Titu stressed on
setting up of fruits processing factories to ensure fair price of the
produced fruits and inspire the farmers in further expanding fruit
cultivation to boost rural economy in the region.