Creates 10,000 job opportunities
Special Correspondent: Flower and fruit nursery becomes popular in Nesarabad and Swarupkathi Upazilas of Pirojpur district. These two upazilas have flourished nursery marker for more than Tk 125 crore annually. This has also make job opportunity for about 10,000 people of the district.
About 2,000 large and small local nurseries currently meet up at least 25 per cent demand of the country’s flower and fruit seedlings.
Abdus Salam Hawlader, owner of Adarsha Nursery in Alengerkathi area of the Nesarabad upazila, who received the National Award in 2002 in “Nursery” category, said he started flower farming along with his father 47 years ago. After his father’s death, he is now running the business. Due to high demand, he has been commercially cultivating flowers for the last couple of years, and earned much profit. At least 20 people work in his nursery established on 10-acre land. He earns about Tk 3 lakh as net profit every year.
He claimed local flower farmers are not getting any government help in cultivation.
Md Shahadat Hossain Hawlader, owner of Boishakhi Nursery in Panaullapur area, said, “The demand of flowers, fruits, herbal, medicinal plants and wood seedlings, produced in mixed farming method is on the rise in both retail and wholesale markets. We could earn much profit if the government would help us.”
Nesarabad Upazila Agricultural Extension Office sources said about 5,000 to 6,000 people here are involved in this business. He also said 60 nursery farmers are (See Page-2)
now taking training funded by the upazila parishad where there is no arrangement to provide any inputs to them.
Deputy Director (DD) of the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) in Pirojpur Abu Hena Md Jafar said, though there is a huge possibility of flower and fruit seedlings farming, no horticulture centre has been established here yet. The local DAE requested to the district agricultural loan committee to provide farmers loan with four per cent interest, but the loan was not granted as it requires the permission from Bangladesh Bank.
Cultivation of different varieties of seedlings appears to be a booming business for many in Swarupkathi of Pirojpur’s Nesarabad upazila nowadays.
While going through different villages in the upazila one can see vast tracts of land are covered with flowers of many local and foreign varieties.
Hundreds of labourers in at least 32 villages, including Alankarkathi, Krishnakathi, Rahutkathi, Aramkathi, Aklom, Kuriana, Panaullapur, Adabor, Jalabari, Mahamudkathi, Edilkathi, and Kamarkathi, are now passing busy time in trending flower plants.
Local growers said the area of flower cultivation is increasing every year.
Deputy Assistant Agriculture Officer at Nesarabad Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) Rathin Chandra Gharami said around 21 hectares of land in the upazila have been brought under flower and fruit seedlings nursery cultivation this year.
Flowers like gladioli, tuberose, red rose, marigold, gerbera, lily and many other varieties are being cultivated in at least 170 nurseries in the upazila.
Nursery owners’ said around four thousand agriculture labourers are currently working at different nurseries in the area.
“I have been cultivating different varieties of flower in my garden for the last 10 years and increasing the farm area every year,” Owner of Kohinoor Nursery Zahangir Alam said.
Kuriana Union Parishad Chairman Shekhar Sikder said flower farming has helped many unemployed youths of his union to be self-reliant.
Day labourer Joyanti Rani of Farzana Nursery said she earns Tk 2350 to Tk 2400 daily.
“We need training and proper support from the government so that we can go for flower farming three times in a year,” labourer Sajadulla of Shanta Nursery said.
As the growers are getting a good profit from flower production, the area of cultivation is increasing every year, Nesarabad DAE Deputy Assistant Agriculture Officer said, adding that a large number of women labourers are now engaged in this sector.
Flower growers in the region are greatly benefited with the high demand and good prices of their produce, Nesarabad Upazila Agriculture Officer Rifat Shikder said, adding that the government has a plan to train up the growers in near future.