Naogaon district has seen gradual increase of Malta cultivation for the last few years due to profitable price and good demand of the citrus fruit round the year.
Malta orchards have been set up on some 51 hectares of land in eleven upazilas of the district, said sources at the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE), Naogaon.
Most of the peasants are cultivating BARI Malta-1 which is an extraordinary high yielding variety developed by the Horticulture Research Centre of Bangladesh Agriculture Research Institute (BARI), the sources added.
One Masud Parvez of Bedgari village under Raninagar upazila said he started cultivating Malta on one acre of land with more than 250 trees in 2018.
“Till 2019, I sold Malta worth Tk 45,000. This year, as the trees at my orchard have been more matured and bloomed massively, I am expecting to get a handsome profit with bumper yield”, he added.
Grower Rezuan Hossain of Mahmudpur village in Dhamoirhat upazila said, “I have set up Malta orchards on my six acres of land inspired by the success of some local farmers in cultivation of the fruit on demonstration plots.”
“I am getting necessary suggestions and support from the local agriculture office regarding the methods of proper taking care of my orchard”, he added.
Agriculture Officer Md. Selim Reza informed Malta farming started in the district three years back under the ‘Citrus Development Project’ initiated by DAE.
Apart from mango farming, Malta cultivation has opened a new door for the farmers in the area to get long-term profit through less investment and labour, Mr Reza added.