Orange farming prospect brighter in sub-Himalayan dists
RANGPUR, Nov 24 (BSS) – Boosting orange farming on commercial basis has brightened its economic prospects ushering new hopes among farmers and commoners of the sub-Himalayan Panchagarh and Thakurgaon districts.
According to the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) sources, the people have been cultivating orange on commercial basis since 2006 there to get excellent productions expanding its farming every year.
Currently, there are some three lakh orange trees including tender and fruit giving ones in over 450 small, medium and large-scale orchards and many homesteads on nearly 200 hectares of land in Panchagarh and Thakurgaon.
The farmers are expecting a bumper production of over 100 tonnes orange there this season and 500 tonnes next season as the production will continue increasing every year with increasing number of fruit giving trees, officials and farmers said.
The DAE under its Orange Development Project successfully expanded orange farming through producing and distributing saplings, nurturing old fruit-giving trees, farming in the orchards, homesteads and exhibition plots.
Before the project ended its five-year (2006-2011) tenure in last June, the DAE distributed two lakh orange saplings among farmers and commoners though 40,000 saplings are still remaining undistributed at its Panchagarh nursery.
Under the project, the DAE provided training on orange cultivation to 15,000 farmers, 400 sub-assistant agriculture officers, set up 368 bloc exhibitions, 8,280 homestead gardens and arranged 500 farmers’ field days in last five years.
According to DAE’s Deputy Directors Md Alimuzzman of Panchagarh and Belayet Hossain of Thakurgaon, orange cultivation on commercial basis has brighter prospects to change the overall socio- economy of the area.
Horticulture Specialist Khondker Md. Mesbahul Islam of the DAE today told BSS the soil, topography, annual rainfalls of 2,500mm to 3,000mm, acidic PH contents of 4.5 to points in these two districts are favourable for commercial cultivation of orange.
He said huge quantity of orange are being produced on commercial basis in the nearby Darjeeling, Jalpaiguri and Shiliguri districts having similar topography for many decades.
“Considering these aspects, the government took the 5-year project, expanded orange cultivation and provided necessary supports including quality saplings, trainings and technologies to the farmers till June last,” he added.
He said the orange growers can earn Taka 11,000 from 250 plants on one bigha land in the first harvest, Taka one lakh from the fourth or fifth harvest for onward 25 years and even up to 50 years when profit will start reducing.
Talking to BSS, successful orange growers Shajedur Rahman, Bachchu Mian and Safir Uddin said they have been getting excellent yields with very high standard oranges.