Farmers make profit from malta farming at Bagatipara
NATORE, Sept 16: Malta is now being cultivated on commercial basis at Bagatipara Upazila of the district as the farmers are making profit from the sale of the fruit in the market.
It was first cultivated here on experimental basis in 2013, but at present its farming has increased. Now, 4.5 hectares of land are being used for malta production.
Farmer Abul Kalam Member of Khidro Malonchi Village in the upazila has been cultivating malta for the last six years. He started the cultivation in 10-decimal land only, but now it has increased to five bighas. Besides producing fruit, he also sells its sapling. Last year he sold saplings worth about Tk 7 lakh to the interested people of Pabna, Rajshahi and Natore districts at Tk 50 per plant.
Hafizur Rahaman, former upazila chairman, has cultivated malta on two bighas of land. He said its cultivation is more profitable than any other crops.
Another farmer Mokbul Hossain said, he has cultivated malta 1.5 bighas of land. The soil of Bagatipara Upazila is suitable for malta farming.
Zahidul Islam of Dayarampur and Sithu Miah of Chalkgoash villages in the upazila started its cultivation six years ago. As they made much profit, their expectation is high. Now, they decided to bring more lands under the cultivation.
A local fruit trader Zafar Alam said, he buys malta from local gardens and supplies those to Dhaka in three or four days of a week.
A buyer Firoz said, the taste of locally-produced malta is good, so it has a good demand in the market. He buys per kg malta from garden at Tk 100 and sells it at Tk 140 to 160 in the market.
Upazila Agriculture Officer Momrej Ali said, they have been giving necessary suggestions to the growers time to time for the appropriate farming of malta. Earlier, flower cultivation had recorded a successful result in the upazila, and now malta production is going on in the same direction.
Deputy Director of the Department of Agriculture Extension Subrata Sarker said they will take all necessary steps to increase malta farming in the district. In future, its cultivation will extend to other upazilas of the district. Then, the demand of the people will be met up easily.