Litchi becomes money spinner in Thakurgaon
THAKURGAON, June 14: Litchi, a juicy and tasty summer fruit, is now abundantly available at local markets due to its sufficient production in the district.
A security guard of a local litchi garden Mokbul Hossen said he earns Tk 200 per day for looking after the orchard.
Many unemployed people are being solvent by taking care of litchi gardens in the district.
Agriculturists said, Thakurgaon is one of the best litchi-growing areas in Bangladesh for its favourable weather, soil and temperature.
A source at the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) said, there are 1,580 litchi orchards comprising 660 hectares of land in five upazilas of the district. From these gardens, about 1,750 metric tons of litchi were produced this season. The varieties produced are Bombay, Golapi, Kanthali, Bedana and China-3. Among these varieties China-3 and Bedana are the best varieties, but the number of fruits per tree is far less than Bombay, Golapi and Kanthali varieties.
The source also said China-3 and Bedana varieties are pricier than Bombay, Golapi and Kanthali varieties for their quality, taste and flavour. At present China-3 and Bedana are selling at Tk 500 to 550 per hundred in different markets of the district whereas the price of Bombay, Golapi and Kanthali is Tk 300 to 350 per hundred.
Deputy Director of Thakurgaon DAE Aftab Hosen said the weather was unfavourable this year at the beginning of the season and it was expected that the yield of litchi would not be satisfactory. But gradually the weather improved and the yield was satisfactory.
An owner a litchi orchard Mobarak Ali of Munshir Haat Village in Sadar Upazila said, "Several orchard owners of the area became self-reliant through litchi cultivation. I earned about Tk 18 lakh from my two orchards. This year's earning is Tk 4 lakh more than the previous year."
Litchi cultivation brings handsome amount of money to the orchard owners. An owner, Mizanur Rahman of Gheedob Village under Pirganj Upazila of the district, said he had raised litchi orchard on 30 acres of land, and he earns about Tk 20 lakh each year from his orchards.
Not only the owners but the labourers also earn good amount of money for plucking and sorting litchi. Rina Akhter, Saheda Begum, and Monju Begum said they work every day in the litchi orchards for plucking and sorting litchi and each of them earns Tk 150 per day.