Thirty-two-year-old Jamal Munshi is trained as an electrical engineer, but found his calling in the traditional family trade of farming. The crop to which he has dedicated his hard work and devotion though, was different from what his family members traditionally cultivated: dragon fruit.
Jamal, a resident of Nikhurhati village in Nagarkanda upazila, graduated in 2013 from an engineering college in Dhaka but getting a good job after graduation is not that easy in Bangladesh.
Sharing his journey from trying to be an electrical engineer to becoming a successful farmer, Jamal told UNB that his father Aynal Munshi, a farmer by profession, also dreamt that their son will become a doctor or an engineer.
To fulfil the wish of his parents, Jamal obtained higher education but he had interest in farming. His passion for cultivation has turned him into an ideal farmer.
Jamal brought 54 decimals of land under Dragon cultivation and earned success. He has now become the inspiration of many unemployed young men of his area.
Jamal is now a well-known person in his village as his name was listed as an ideal farmer of the district.
Jamal’s dragon orchard is the biggest fruit garden in the district and people from different parts of the district throng his garden to take lessons on farming.
Most of the people came to buy dragon plant while some gather there to learn how to cultivate dragon fruits and training purposes.
“I have interest in cultivation and when I returned to my village during vacation, I used to go for cultivation and agricultural work,” he said.
However, he is also the owner of business establishments named “Asian Power Tech Limited’.
Alongside his business, Jamal cultivates Dragon fruit in his land.
“I started Dragon fruit cultivation two years ago and eight or nine workers work in my garden. First year, I earned a good amount of profit from the garden and this year the yield is good too and I hope I can earn more than last year,” said Jamal.
“I choose to cultivate the fruit due to its high demand in the country as it is delicious, nutritious and has medicinal quality,” said Jamal.
Dr Hazrat Ali, deputy director of Faridpur Agricultural Extension, said “In dragon fruit cultivation, a farmer needs to spend money in the beginning but then they do not need to spend extra money. Only good nurture can bring success.”
Like Jamal, many people have started cultivating dragon fruit on their lands but Jamal is the best of all as he has a passion for agricultural work,said Hazrat Ali.
Aynal Munshi, father of Jamal, said “I got delighted when I saw that people from different parts of the country come to visit my son’s orchard. Though I had a wish to see my son as a government service holder but now I don’t mind what he is doing.”
“Almost one hundred youths have taken training from my orchard and started their business and when they face any problem, I personally visit their orchard and give advice,” said Jamal.
He also said he has started cultivating dates, malta and other fruits on his land.