A madrasa teacher has seen the face of success by commercially cultivating tween fruit, commonly known as fig, in Patuakhali during the Covid-19 pandemic situation. Notably, there is also surah in the Holy Quran—At-Tin (The Fig) asserting the wholesomeness of the fruit. Tween is a good source of both calcium and potassium and has a huge potential of export after meeting the of the country.
Jahnagir Hossain Manik, a lecturer of agriculture of a madrasa in Tengrakhali area under Badarpur union of Patuakhali Sadar upazila, got inspired to commercially cultivate tween fruit from Facebook.
“I had a huge free time in my hand due to the closure of my madrasa and I was pondering to do something in this long hiatus. Then I came across some videos in the Facebook on the goodness of tween fruit and fixed my mind that I would cultivate the fruit,” he said.
He elevated 30 decimals of low-lying area adjacent to the madrasa and purchased 200 tween plants at the rate of Tk 720 per plant from Maona of Gazipur in October last year. His dreams came true as the trees start bearing fruits from February this year after four months of intense care. He has already started to marketise the ripe fruits.
People from different districts are coming to see his orchard of the exotic fruits that are very juicy and can be consumed all the year round after drying and preserving in containers. Many visitors are also expressing their eagerness to learn the cultivation technique from Manik, he said.
“I was apprehensive about the cultivation of tween fruit at the beginning but I have gained success by dint of hard labour, intensive care and the advice of the officials of the agriculture department. I have started the sale from the month of Ramadan at Tk 1,000 per kg. Most of the buyers buy the fruits directly from the orchard and local super shop also sells them,” he also said.
“Hopefully, I will see the face of profit from the next year,” he added.
An engineer came from the neighboring district of Barguna came to visit the orchard. “I want to cultivate the fruit commercially,” Engr Imran said.
Md Hasan, who came from Kalapara upazila town of the district, said that he has also decided to cultivate this exotic fruit and came to visit the orchard to see its cultivation method.
Dr Shamim Ahmed, additional deputy director of the Department of Agricultural Extension—DAE– (Horticulture Wing) of Dhaka said the fruit is rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, as well as almost all essential nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, sodium, carbohydrates, sugar, fat, protein and thiamine. It also has many medicinal properties.
It helps cure constipation, reduce weight, keep the heart healthy and controls high blood pressure. It also helps prevent cancer.
He further said each tree bears up to 1 kg in the first year, 8 to 11 kg in the second year and up to 25 kg fruits in the third year. In this way, it continues to bear fruit for 34 consecutive years. The lifespan of the tree is about 100 years. Tween fruits grow at the base of each leaf. Each tree is six to 30 feet tall and bears 60 to 70 fruits.