Mahfuz Emran: Papaya cultivation has gained popularity in different parts of Bangladesh including Narsingdi district because of its higher economic prospects.
A good number of farmers, particularly young ones, have been involved in cultivation of papaya on a commercial basis during last 15 years and achieved economic self-reliance.
Papaya is a delicious and nutritious fruit. The green papaya is also a nutritious vegetable. Papaya trees grow abundantly on sandy and loamy soil. Farmers usually cultivate papaya on high lands and in their home garden.
The Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) encourages farmers and provides training, particularly to the youths, to cultivate more papaya, as the climate and soil of the district are suitable for its cultivation.
Farmers collect saplings directly from the Agriculture Extension Department and from different private nurseries. Farmers raise a number of papaya orchards in the district every year with their own initiative, with minimum financial involvement and earn a handsome amount.
Papaya as an all-season vegetable and fruit has a great demand in the country and abroad. Green papaya is being sold at Tk 20 per kg, and each ripe papaya at Tk 80-100, depending on the size. Deputy Director of the DAE (Narsingdi), told this correspondent that cultivation of papaya is more profitable than other crops. During the last ten years, farmers have raised a number of orchards in the district and at present are harvesting a huge quantity of green and ripe papaya.
He said 200 to 250 papaya saplings can be planted on one bigha. After 4 to 5 months, the trees produce on an average 150 to 200 maunds of papaya in a year. Each tree bears 150 to 200 papayas in a year. A tree bears fruit for four to five years.
Farmer Hafijuddin of Chalakchar village in Monohardi upazila of Narsingdi district was without a job. He is now involved in cultivating papaya. He raised a papaya garden by planting 350 saplings on 40 decimals of land two years ago, spending only Tk 20,000. During the last two years he got an excellent production from his garden. He earned Tk 150,000 by selling green and ripe papayas.
Farmer Abu Taleb of Shimarbag village in Shibpur upazila also narrated his success story of cultivating papaya on his 45 decimals of land. He said this year after meeting all expenses, he made a profit of Tk 40,000 by selling green and ripe papayas.
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