One hundred lemons cost Tk200-400
Lemon cultivation has become quite profitable in Jamalpur.
Many farmers have been successfully cultivating lemons in almost infertile lands around the Brahmaputra river char in the district.
Many have leaned towards lemon cultivation as it is profitable with a minimal capital investment.
Moksed Mia and Hossain Ali, two friends from Jamalpur city, started cultivating various species of lemon in Naobhanga char of the Brahmaputra River— taking out a long-term lease on about seven acres of land.
After deducting all other costs, their monthly income was over one lakh taka. Anisur Rahman, growing a lemon garden on the same char, has now become self-reliant.
Lemons from Jamalpur are being provided to other big cities across the country— after meeting local demand. Lemon traders transport the lemons in trucks to other those cities and the capital, Dhaka.
Lemon farmers said: "One hundred lemons cost Tk200-400."
Md Ahsan Habib from Ghughurakandi village of Jamalpur sadar told the Dhaka Tribune that 30% of his land area was used for lemon cultivation. He sold around 30,000 lemons during Eid—and yearly sells lemons worth Tk3 lakhs.
Sadek Ali of the same village echoed his statement saying he profited Tk10,000 every month, cultivating lemons on 30% of his land area.
Siddiq Mia cultivates lemon on 60% of his land and profits almost Tk20,000.
A Hai of Ujanpara village worked as a health assistant in a hospital and started his own lemon plantation on about one acre of land after seeing Ahsan's successful lemon garden.
He said: "Lemon cultivation yields more profit and demands less hard work and cost."
Farmers said: "After a year of planting seeds, the lemon trees start to bear fruit. The trees keep producing fruit throughout the whole year, and once a whole garden is built, it can produce lemons for the next 15-20 years."
"Because the trees grow again from the roots, there is no need to re-plant the seeds. The trees only need to be fertilized and sprayed with pesticides."
A primary school teacher Md Khairul Master from Dubnai village said: "Lemon cultivation can be very profitable, that was why I have started cultivating lemon on half an acre of land—along with teaching."
Acting Deputy Director of Agriculture Extension Department in Jamalpur, Agriculturist Md Abu Hanif said: "Lemon is the kind of crop that can be yielded for a long time once it has been cultivated. The profit is high while the cost is low."
He also said they were working on expanding lemon cultivation in the char areas.
Different species of lemon are being cultivated on more than 300 hectares of land in the char areas and more than 1,500 metric tons of lemons are produced in Jamalpur district.
People believe that cultivating lemons on these non-arable lands will have a bigger positive impact on the rural economy.