BAGERHAT: Kamrul Hasan, a farmer from Bagerhat, has found massive success in recent years cultivating foreign fruits. After racking up revenues of Tk 2.7 million annually selling the yield from his 21-bigha orchard, Kamrul is now thinking of expanding his business by exporting the fruits abroad.
Visiting Kamrul’s orchard in Shiyalkathi village under Bagerhat’s Kochua upazila, UNB found the place filled with numerous varieties of local and foreign fruits, including Dragon Fruit, Malta Fruit, Mango, Guava, Lime, Orange, Pineapple, Wood Apple, Sugar Apple, Custard Apple etc.
Inspired by Kamrul’s work, many people from the area are joining the fruit farming business. Customers are also coming to the orchard on a regular basis to buy fruits directly from the grower.
Even the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) has dubbed Kamrul a “successful fruit farmer”.
What’s interesting about Kamrul’s method is that he cultivates many variants of a single fruit. For example, there are five variants of Mango in Kamrul’s orchard, including Kiujai, Egg of The Sun, Catimon and Brunei King.
Talking to the agency, Kamrul Hasan said that he started fruit farming as a hobby, planting 10 seedlings of Dragon Fruit some four years ago.
“I didn’t get a good yield the first year. Rather than giving up, I waited and got a bumper yield the second year. After that, I started to take fruit farming more seriously and planted seedlings of American, Japanese, Indian, Thai, Vietnamese and Chinese fruits in my orchard. That’s how I expanded my business,” Kamrul said.
Asked about the secret behind his success, Kamrul said that his previous experience in agriculture has helped him a lot in his fruit farming.
“Besides, timely tending of the plants has resulted in large-scale production. I’ve already started to make profits thanks to the quality of the fruits grown in my orchard. I’ve earned Tk 27 lakh by selling fruits this year, which shows the popularity that my fruits have earned among the customers. Now I’m thinking of expanding my business through exporting fruits to other countries,” Kamrul added.
Alamin Majhi and Saiful Islam, two gardeners of the orchard, said that they jointly take care of the orchard round the year. The incomes that they generate in this way are sufficient to run their families well and live a good life.
Jewel Sheikh and Babul Sheikh, two neighbors of Kamrul, said that they’ve started to grow foreign fruits themselves after getting inspired by Kamrul’s success. After collecting the seedlings and learning to tending from Kamrul, they are now finding success in their own initiatives.
Abdur Razzak, a fruit buyer, said that he regularly buys foreign fruits from Kamrul and sell them in different parts of the country in wholesale.
“The demand of customers for Kamrul’s fruits is very high. Fruits grown by Kamrul get sold at high prices. Someone who has bought Kamrul’s fruits once always comes back to buy them again,” said Razzak.
Azizur Rahman, Deputy Director of Bagerhat DAE, said that the weather and soil of Bagerhat are suitable for foreign fruit cultivation.
“Foreign fruit farming is more profitable than the local ones. That’s why we’re providing trainings and technical assistance to those who are interested in foreign fruit cultivation. Many others have started growing foreign fruits in Bagerhat besides Kamrul, and we’ll be able to export fruits to other countries soon if the trend doesn’t die off,” said Azizur.
According to DAE, fruits, both local and foreign, are being cultivated on 15,240 hectares of land in Bagerhat. During FY 2021-22, around 155,810 metric tons of fruits were grown in the district.