Dhaka, Bangladesh
Joypurhat farmers fetch profit from banana farming

Joypurhat farmers fetch profit from banana farming

Our Correspondent JOYPURHAT, Mar 25: Farmers of the district have changed their lot through banana cultivation. Now, locally-produced banana is going to Dhaka and other districts. The farmers are meeting all their costs through selling banana. It is being considered as cash crop of the district. Many farmer families of the district, especially of Jamalganj and Bhadsa areas, have become self-reliant through banana cultivation. According to the Agriculture Information Service (AIS), about 40-50 varieties of banana are cultivated in Bangladesh. Among them, the names of Amrit Sagar, Sabri, Kabri, Champa, Singapuri or Kabuli, Meherasagar, Kant or Bichi Kala, Kanchala or Anaji Arts and Shanti Kali are the prominent ones. Currently, three more varieties - Barikala-1, Barikala-2 and Barikala-3 - have been released by the Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI). As per estimation of the Department of Agricultural Marketing, on an average Tk30,000 to Tk32,000 is spent on per bigha for production of around 335 kandi (bunch) of banana, which means production cost of per kandi banana is around Tk95. Each bunch of banana is sold at Tk210 and profit Tk125 at the farmers' level. The selling price is Tk250 and profit Tk40 in the midlevel wholesalers, who sell banana at Tk300 making a profit of Tk50. While talked, farmers said banana cultivation fetches more profit than other crops. After opening of the Bangabandhu Bridge, a huge banana market has been created in Jamalganj and Durgadaha Bazaar in Bhadsa. After planting two to three feet long banana trees in the month of Baishakh, yield is available in Agrahayan. Banana grows well in the land where water does not stand more than a week. They also said about 300 to 350 banana saplings are planted in per bigha of land. If proper care can be taken, a tree can give yield from two and two and a half maunds of banana. The cultivation cost of banana in one bigha of land is Taka 15,000 to 20,000, but banana worth Taka 80,000 to 1 lakh is available from the same land. Local Agriculture Department sources said banana was cultivated on 800 hectares of land in the district this year, and the production target is 30,000 metric tons. Farmer Ashraful Islam of Matapur Village said, "I cultivated banana on five bighas of land this year. After meeting all costs, I have made profit worth Taka 60,000 to 80,000 in per bigha of land." Farmer Nur Alam of Nunuz Village said, "We don't face any problem in selling banana. The wholesalers buy banana from the land. Besides, huge market sits in Jamalganj and Durgadaha bazaar every morning where about 60 to 65 wholesalers buy banana and load it in trucks. About 500 people are engaged in banana trading daily." A small banana market sits at Gulshan Chow Mor of the district town. As the locally-produced banana is of good quality, it has great demand in about 35 districts including Dhaka, Sylhet, Chattogram, Cumilla, Noakhali, and Chandpur, said wholesalers Shafiqul Islam, Babu, Tabba, and Mizanur Rahman. Owner of SA Traders and famous banana trader Shafiqul Islam said about 14 to 15 truckloads of banana go to other areas of the country daily. Sadar Upazila Agriculture Officer Agriculturist Kaisar Iqbal said banana is a cash crop. About 10,000 people are engaged in banana cultivation and production. Many people have become self-reliant through banana farming.

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