Motiur's success has inspired many farmers to take up orange cultivation in the district
Chapainawabganj farmers are expecting handsome profit by cultivating delicious oranges, which researchers say are up to par in quality compared to the ones imported.
The success in orange farming in Chapainawabganj owes its credit to Motiur Rahman, a national award-winning farmer, who now has 550 orange trees from which he expects a handsome reward.
Four years ago, Motiur began experimental cultivation of 20 orange varieties on 16 bighas of land. He found that four varieties originated from the USA, China, India and Australia are performing better than the rest.
Although Motiur could sell his produce from the second year of his cultivation, significant profit started coming in from the fourth year.
Speaking to Dhaka Tribune, Motiur Rahman said this year he harvested 30-40kg orange from each tree. "I sold orange at Tk 150-160 per kilo. Last year, I made a profit of Tk2 lakh. This year, I am hoping to bump it up to Tk 5 lakh.”
Motiur's success has inspired many farmers to take up orange cultivation in the district, even those who are already affluent and successful.
One such farmer, Rafiqul Islam, has begun farming oranges on 70 bighas. "I had asked for seedlings from Motiur after I was impressed by his success. Now, my orange trees are five months old, said Rafiqul adding that he has his fingers crossed for success.
Locals as well as outsiders are constantly mesmerized by the juicy oranges hanging at Motiur's garden. Kamal Ranjan Das, an additional secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture (research), hailed Motiur's effort as revolutionary.
Hasib Hossain, a local visiting Motiur's orange garden said: "I am at awe after seeing Motiur's garden and tasting the deliciousness and sweetness of the fruit. Such an initiative should be supported and encouraged everywhere possible.”
Germplasm Officer Johurul Islam, of Chapainawabganj Horticulture Centre, said oranges are growing well in the district due to suitable weather and soil conditions.
"We are testing the orange grown in Motiur's garden for the past few years and comparing it with the imported oranges. In our inspection, we have found that there is no difference between them. The oranges are easy to peel off and quite delicious."
While talking about the prospect of orange cultivation in the country, Johurul said: "Good quality foreign fruits are not available during November and December. If farmers increase the cultivation of oranges in this period, it will be lucrative for them and dependency on exported oranges would decrease."
Nazrul Islam, deputy director at the district's Department of Agricultural Extension said they are working in different upazilas in the district to assist farmers on orange cultivation by training them and providing expert assistance.
Chapainawabganj is renowned for its summer fruits such as mangoes. As good quality orange production has proved to be possible in the district, experts say they are looking forward to expanding cultivation of the fruit across the country.