Papaya farming gains popularity among Magura farmers
MAGURA, Sept 21: Papaya cultivation has been gaining popularity among the farmers in the district since its farming proved more profitable than other vegetables.
Papaya plants need very little nursing and start producing fruits in a very short time, said Sub-Assistant Agriculture Officer (SAAO) in Sadar upazila Abdur Rashid.
Apart from local variety, papaya of BARI-Shahirachi, Kashimpuri and Honeydew varieties are also being cultivated in the district, farmers and agriculture officials informed.
Mizanur Rahman, a farmer of Baroipara village in Sreepur upazila, said the cultivation of papaya is more profitable than other traditional crops like paddy and jute.
"This year I cultivated papaya on 330 decimals of land. I am expecting to sell papaya worth at least Tk 9 lakh to 10 if the weather remains favourable," Mizanur told this correspondent.
"At the very beginning, I made a profit of Tk 2.5 lakh from papaya cultivation on a 99-decimal land only, whereas I earned only Tk 21,000 growing rice on the same land," Mizanur continued.
Hashem Ali of the same village, who also cultivated papaya on 99 decimals of land said, "I am hoping to sell papaya worth Tk 2.5 lakh if everything including the weather go smooth."
A total of 498 hectares of land in four upazilas of the district have been brought under papaya cultivation this season, said sources in the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE), adding that the production target was 10,000 metric tons.
Local wholesalers purchase papaya from different fields in Magura and send those to Dhaka and other parts of the country for sale, farmers informed.
"As it is peak season of papaya now, at least five trucks loaded with papaya leave Magura every day," said Rezaul Islam, a wholesaler who came to buy papaya from Baroipara village in Sreepur upazila.
"I purchased per maund of papaya at Tk 250 and 300 from the farmers," Rezaul added.
While talking with the Daily Observer, Deputy Director (DD) of Magura DAE Partho Pratim Saha said, "Papaya farming is profitable as farmers get abundant yield of the vegetable soon after they plant its saplings."
"Various effective steps were taken by the DAE officials timely to encourage the farmers in papaya cultivation. The farmers will be able to achieve bumper production and earn maximum profit from papaya cultivation if the weather remains favourable," the DD added.