A couple in a remote village under Hatibandha upazila has successfully grown mandarin for the first time in the district.
Headmaster of Milon Bazar Mozammel Hossain High School Khalilur Rahman and his wife Fatema Khatun Majumder, assistant teacher of Purbo Para Government Primary School, started growing mandarins in their orchard in 2011.
In the first year, they planted only 50 trees, which they increased to 350 trees on 150 decimals of land in 2013. They are getting a good quantity of the fruit from 50 of the trees, and have also set up a nursery in the orchard for selling mandarin plants.
Khalilur said, “I asked myself why mandarins could not be grown in our soil. Thereafter, I and my wife started a mandarin orchard near our homestead as a hobby.” "We got 800 pieces of mandarins from 50 trees this year," he said.
He said he sells mandarin plants from the nursery for Tk 15 to Tk 20 per piece. Interested people from different villages purchase the plants to grow them in their homesteads, he said, adding that he will expand their mandarin orchard.
Fatema said, “Our mandarins are sweet and juicy, like the imported ones, and our dream has come true this year as we got good yield. Many villagers come to us for getting advice on how to grow mandarin.”
Taherul Islam of the village said he was astonished by the taste of the mandarins grown in the couple's orchard.
“I purchased 20 mandarin plants for Tk 400 after observing their success,” said Nurnabi Mia of the same village, adding that he will also try mandarin farming.
Delowar Hossain, a local farmer, said, he has started farming mandarins on 100 decimals of lands following the teacher couple's advice.
Deputy Director of the Department of Agriculture Extension in Lalmonirhat Bidubhuson Roy said, “The teacher couple has set a successful example that it is possible to grow mandarins in our soil,” adding that many interested people have started farming mandarins in the district.
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