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Rising litchi acreage gears bumper yield hope in Rajshahi
  Date : 21-04-2024


Acreage of litchi, a mouth-watering seasonal fruit, is gradually increasing, making expectations of bumper yield as a lot of farmers have changed their fortunes in the region, including its vast Barind tract, in the last couple of years.

Farmers and agricultural and fruit experts expects bumper yield of the fruit due to suitable climate conditions this year.

Litchi growers are passing very busy times in caring for the trees and the orchards as green tender litchis have already appeared, turning the tree branches into a fresh look.

There are hundreds of litchi trees near homesteads or courtyards of villagers. Different varieties of litchi including high yield varieties of China-3, Bombay and Madrazi are being cultivated.

Mozder Hossain, Deputy Director of Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE), said litchi was cultivated on 530 hectares of land against last year`s 525 hectares.

Dr Alim Uddin, retired chief scientific officer of Fruit Research Station, told BSS that the local varieties of litchi will start appearing in the markets by the end of this month.

But, the Bombay variety is expected to come to the markets by mid of next month.

Alim said China-3 (hybrid), Bombay and Madrazi are the most popular varieties in the region as Paba, Godagari, Charghat, Bagmara, Bagha, Puthia and Durgapur upazilas of the district are well-known for good quality litchis.

Abdur Razzaque of Kapasia village said commercial litchi farming has started at Raipara, Bulanpur, Chhotobongram and Katakhali areas of the city.

Besides, litchi is also being cultivated at Baghmara, Durgapur, Puthia, Paba and Godagari upazilas of the district, he added.

Abul Hashem, a school teacher, said he cultivated 40 litchi trees on two bighas of land last year and sold litchis worth Taka 250,000 from his orchard.

He said a five-year-old tree can produce around 100 to 150 kilograms of litchis which is 2,000 to 6,000 pieces in number.

By cultivating the fruit, most of the families at Bargachhi, Bagsara, Charghat and Bagha have become economically solvent.

Local farmers said they are taking great care of their litchi plants by spraying medicines.

Hossain, however, said rainless, nor`wester, storm, hailstorm and insects like pod-borer are the major enemies and threats for the cash crop.

There are more than 100 litchi orchards in the region including its Barind tract. Apart from this, high yielding China-3, Bombay and Madrazi variety litchis are also being cultivated on homestead lands.

DAE Additional Director Mahmudul Faruque said many people became self-reliant by cultivating litchi in recent years.

He said there are hundreds of litchi orchards on more than 1,000 hectares of land that produce huge yields which meet the local demand as well as being consigned to other parts of the country every year. BSS

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