The thriving private sector nursery business has brought fortune to some one lakh people helping their families in leading a better life even during the COVID-19 pandemic in Rangpur agriculture region.
Officials of the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) said nursery business is helping rural people to cut poverty and achieve self-reliance along with improving rural economy, environment, ecology and biodiversity.
“Around 1.15 lakh people are involved in nursery business at 38 government and some 1,200 private sector nurseries in all five districts of the region,” said Deputy Director of the DAE at its regional office Agriculturalist Md. Moniruzzaman.
More than 4,500 rural people, both males and females, are working in nurseries to earn wages as the business continues to grow with increasing demand of saplings encouraging more people in setting up new nurseries.
The saplings of mahogany, ‘babla’, ‘shilkorai’, ‘shishu’, ‘neem’, mango, jackfruit, orange, ‘segun’, ‘baukul’, ‘apple kul’, flowers, cinnamon, guava, ‘amloki’, grapes, litchi, black berry, ‘jamrul’, wood apple, pomegranate, coconut and ‘golap jam’ are on the best sales.
“Nursery business is boosting fast bringing fortune to many and creating jobs for rural people helping them to lead a better life even during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Moniruzzaman added.
Talking to BSS, nursery owner Abdul Wahab of village Jharbishla in Pirganj upazila of Rangpur narrated his story of changing fortune through nursery business.
“I had no inherited land. I took a lease of a piece of land and set up a nursery in 2008,” Wahab said, adding that he purchased 1.50 bigha of land and took lease of one bigha of land to extend his nursery business in 2011.
Currently, he is producing around 1.25 lakh saplings of wood, fruit and medicinal trees annually.
“I am expecting to earn a net profit of Taka three lakh after selling his saplings by August this year,” he said.
Nursery owner Abdul Ohid Sheikh of village Horkoli in Rangpur Sadar upazila has set up a dazzling instance of success in nursery business by attaining self-reliance and also creating jobs for rural people.
“I began my nursery business by setting up the ‘Nasim Nursery’ naming it after my son Nasim initially from 1994 at Horkoli area in Rangpur Sadar upazila.
At present, Ohid has expanded his nurseries on 32 acres of land, including six acres of his own lands and 26 acres taken on lease, at Horkoli, Sholeyasha and Rotirampur villages and Modern Mour areas in Rangpur Sadar.
“There are some 12 lakh saplings of different varieties of fruits, wood and medicinal trees at my nurseries where more than 130 farm-labourers are working and getting salaries between Taka 8,000 and Taka 12,000 per month,” Ohid said.
The saplings of ‘Haribhanga’, ‘Lengra’, ‘Ruplai’, ‘Gopalbhg’, ‘Aswina’, ‘Misribhog’, ‘Khheershapati’ and ‘Fazlee’ varieties of mango and ‘Bedana’, ‘China’, ‘Bombay’ and ‘Madrazi’ varieties of litchi are on the beast sales in his nurseries.
Besides, saplings of mahogany, ‘babla’, ‘shilkorai’, ‘shishu’, ‘neem’, ‘Akasmoni’, ‘Ekashia Cross’, ‘Manzium’, ‘Rain tree’, ‘Amra’, ‘Dalim’, Blackberry, Jackfruit’, Lemon, Olive, Papaya, ‘Neem’, ‘Agar’ and other varieties of trees are largely being sold.
“I am supplying my produced saplings to different parts of the country and selling 6,000 pieces of saplings daily during the peak tree plantation season,” Ohid added.