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Massive budding predicts bumper litchi production

RANGPUR, Mar 5, 2013 (BSS) - Massive budding in the litchi trees amid favorable climatic condition predicts a bumper production of the juiciest fleshy fruit this season everywhere in the northern districts, officials, experts and farmers said.

According to Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) sources, 75 percent of nearly 71 million litchi trees in over 8,800 small, medium and big-sized litchi orchards and homesteads have already bloomed massively and the process still continues.

Horticulture Specialist of the DAE Khondker Md Mesbahul Islam said litchi cultivation has become very popular as hundreds of farmers have achieved self-reliance through farming the fruits on commercial basis in recent years.

"The farmers and commoners have been cultivating high yielding varieties including China-3 and Bedana and early varieties like Bombay and Madrazi litchi on more lands following repeated bumper productions and lucrative prices," he said.

He suggested the farmers to spray 80 percent Sulpher on litchi tress if mite attack is found following rise in temperature and spray 'Mentozeb' or 'Propikonazole' during fruit formation stage after budding for getting better production.

"While visiting the 1.56 acre litchi orchard of Principal Atiar Rahman in village Damodarpur near Baro Maidan under Sadar upazila in Rangpur, I observed excellent flowering in all 204 litchi trees there yesterday," Mesbahul added.

Former Deputy Director of the DAE Mamunur Rashid and Agronomist Anarul Haque said the massive spouting predicts bumper litchi production this season in the region if the climatic condition remains favourable till June next.

Noted agri-scientist and Associate Director (Agriculture) of BRAC International (South Asia and Africa) Dr M A Mazid said litchi farming on commercial basis expands faster bringing fortunes to hundreds of farmers for repeated bumper production and excellent market price.

Hundreds of litchi orchards have been set up on cultivated lands on homesteads in Dinajpur, Rangpur, Kurigram, Lalmonirhat, Nilphamari, Thakurgaon, Panchagarh, Joypurhat, Naogaon, Bogra, Pabna, Sirajganj and other northern districts, he said.

The officials and experts said commercial litchi farming has already expanded on over 4,100 litchi orchards in about 1,600 hectares of land and in most of the homesteads in Dinajpur district alone.

They said adequately favorable climatic conditions including early departure of the winter resulted in massive litchi blooming and the sunny weather has been helping better flowering so far in the region.

Talking to BSS, litchi growers Abdus Samad, Mosaddek Hossain, Sachindra Nath, Mokbul Hossain and Rostam Ali said they are earning excellent profits every year through farming litchi on their orchard in recent years.

Additional Director of DAE Sikander Ali expressed satisfaction over massive budding in litchi trees and expected bumper production due to prevailing favourable climatic condition this season.