Litchi growers are passing busy days in nursing the trees as huge litchi buds have grown in the region this year making the farmers optimistic of getting a good yield.
In the litchi-producing areas, the growers are very busy for taking care of their trees with hope of getting more yield.
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.
The farmers said they are taking great care of their litchi plants by spraying medicines. Last year, many litchis were damaged due to storm and the farmers incurred loss. This year they are hoping to recover the losses.
Manzurul Haque, District Training Officer in Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE), said there were frequent rainfalls since the time of
flowering. So far, the weather is in favour of litchi cultivation. So this year, the farmers are expecting bumper litchi yield.
He said more than thousand farmers have become successful in cultivating litchi. There are more than one hundred litchi orchards in the region including its Barind tract. In addition to the gardens, high yielding China- 3, Bombay and Madrazi variety litchis are being cultivated on homesteads.
Litchi grower Monsur Rahman said they are earning excellent profits every year through farming litchi on their orchard.
Abul Hashem, a school teacher, said he has cultivated 40 litchi trees on two bighas of land last year and he sold litchis worth Tk. 250,000 from his orchard.
Traders from various places including Dhaka, Chattogram and Barisal come here to buy litchis every year.
Farmer Akbar Ali of Amgachhi Village in Durgapur Upazila said, “If the weather remain good till the end, the litchi yield will be good. We are
watering the trees everyday so that the litchis don’t fall. We are also using nets to protect the litchi from squirrel and bats.”
Dr Alim Uddin, Principal Scientific Officer of Fruit Research Center, said smooth formation of tender litchi continues amid favorable climatic condition predicting a bumper production of the seasonal fruit this season in the region.
Litchi cultivation has become very popular as hundreds of farmers have achieved self-reliance through farming the fruits on a commercial basis in recent years.
The farmers and commoners have been cultivating high yielding varieties including China-3 and Bedana and early varieties like Bombay and Madrazi litchi on more lands following repeated bumper productions and lucrative prices.
He said a five-year old tree can produce around 100 to 150 kilograms of litchis which are equivalent to 2,000 to 6,000 pieces of fruits in number. By cultivating the fruit most of the families at Bargachhi, Bagsara, Charghat and Bagha have become economically solvent.
Horticulturist Dr Saifur Rahman said litchi farming on a commercial basis expands faster bringing fortunes to hundreds of farmers for repeated bumper production and excellent market price.
Hundreds of litchi orchards have been set up on cultivable lands on homesteads in the region, he said.
Suitable soil, favorable climate and optimum prices are the reasons behind massive cultivation of the fruit.
Dr Rahman, however, said nor’wester, storm, hailstorm and pod-borer like insects are the major enemies and threats for the cash crop.
ATM Rafiqul Islam, Deputy Manager (Agriculture) of Barind Multipurpose Development Authority expecting the bumper production due to prevailing favourable climatic condition this season.
Additional Director of DAE Dev Dulal Dhali said many people have become self-reliant by cultivating litchi in recent years. The region has now litchi gardens on more than 1,000 hectares of land. The farmers are expecting bumper yield of litchi this year.