Prospect of malta cultivation bright in Rajshahi
Published : Sunday, 10 November, 2019 at 12:00 AM Count : 208
RAJSHAHI, Nov 9: Malta farming is becoming popular day by day in the district.
As the cultivation is much profitable, the farmers are now getting more interest in it.
Sources at the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) in Rajshahi said malta cultivation has increased a lot within a very short time in the district.
Among the other upazilas of the district, Godagari Upazila is well ahead in malta farming.
Godagari DAE Officer Matiar Rahman said bright future is likely in malta farming in the upazila. The local farmers are becoming economically solvent in cultivating BARI-1 variety of malta. The fruit has been cultivated in about 93 ha of land in the upazila till now.
Farmer Suruj Zaman of Pirijpur area in the upazila said, "As a hobby, I cultivated malta in 1.5-bigha land first. The fruits grew within one year of the cultivation. But, I did not harvest the yield in the first year. In the second year, the fruits appeared in huge quantity. Under revenue head, I got some more malta trees from upazila agriculture office and expanded the cultivation."
He also said, "I planted 217 malta saplings with 10-foot distance. I had to spend Tk 25,000 behind different purposes, including labour cost, fencing and applying fertiliser. I sold off the malta garden on a contract worth Tk 30,000 to a trader of Rajshahi in August last."
He added, "I hope to earn twofold profit from the garden from next year and sell malta worth Tk 70,000 to 80,000. I hope to expand the farming from the next year."
Like Suruj Zaman, about 50 farmers including Nasirul of Mohanpur Union and Faruk Ahmed of Basudebpur Union in the upazila have become economically solvent through malta farming.
Farmer Faruk Ahmed said, "I was a Saudi expatriate. I started cultivating malta in Kazi Para area after returning from there. I am now cultivating malta in about 30 to 32 bighas of land. I had to spend Tk 85,000 to 90,000 for developing the malta garden in three years. About 60 to 70 malta fruits have grown in each tree. I hope to sell malta worth about Tk 4 to 4.5 lakh in next year."
Farmer Alhaz Rezwan said, "After taking advice from Chapainawabganj Horticulture Office, I cultivated malta in eight-bigha land. Besides 500 malta trees, I have other trees of different fruits in my garden. I had to spend Tk 6 lakh behind the farming. I sold about 70 to 80 maunds of malta at Tk 70 per kg. Excluding all costs, I earned Tk 1.5 lakh."
He also said he is worried about the price of malta. He claimed that per kg foreign malta is selling at Tk 200 to 250, but the local one is selling at Tk 70 to 80.
Farmers said if they get government patronage, they would be able to produce huge malta locally and export it to abroad.
Godagari Upazila Agriculture Officer Shafiqul Islam said, "Malta farming has become popular in the upazila. We are providing all kinds of help to the farmers in this connection."
Deputy Director of Rajshahi DAE Md Shamsul Haque said malta farming is also becoming popular in the entire Barind tract.