Dhaka,  Wednesday
29 May 2024

Dragon farming gaining popularity in Brahmanbaria

Eneyat Khan, Brahmanbaria 

Published: 06:15, 16 November 2023

Dragon farming gaining popularity in Brahmanbaria

A farmer busy nursing dragon fruits at his garden in Brahmanbaria. The photo was taken recently. Photo: Messenger 

Dragon fruit farming is gaining popularity among farmers across the country, including Brahmanbaria district, due to its lucrative prices in the market. Despite the initial costs, farmers in this district are increasingly inclined towards cultivating this exotic and juicy fruit.

Habibur Rahman (42), from Budda village of Noagaon Union in Brahmanbaria's Sarail Upazila, was originally a contractor. He surprised the area by venturing into dragon fruit cultivation for the first time in Sarail. Three years ago, he decided to shift his focus to farming and created a large garden of exotic dragon fruit, generating an income of two and a half lakh taka per month.

In September 2020, he rented 3 acres of fallow land on the banks of the Titas river in Budda village for Tk 7 lakh for 10 years. He planted 6,000 red, white, and pink dragon fruit seedlings next to 1,500 poles in 1.80 acres. Each seedling was purchased at a rate ranging from Tk 50 to 200. His total expenditure was around Tk 20 lakhs. Harvesting began one year after planting, and this year marked the full yield.

Habibur sells 800 to 1,000 kg of fruit every month at the rate of Tk 250 to Tk 300. He also earns Tk 25-30 thousand monthly by selling dragon tree seedlings.

Monthly expenses, including an employee and other costs, amount to Tk 25 thousand. He manages the garden himself and also produces organic fertilizers on a small scale. Dragon trees have a lifespan of 25 to 30 years, ensuring potential returns for a considerable period. Despite monsoon water rising in the garden last year, it did not harm the plants.

Budda village has become a hub for dragon fruit enthusiasts, attracting people from all walks of life who come to see and inquire about dragon fruit cultivation. Shamsul Alam (58), a resident and teacher from Upazila Sadar, expressed his admiration for the attractive garden, noting that he had heard of dragon fruit but had never seen an orchard before.

Habibur Rahman shared his inspiration for dragon fruit cultivation, stating that he used to be in the contracting business in Chattogram. He spent about 20 lakhs on the garden and anticipates an annual income of Tk 15-16 lakhs, having earned Tk 12 lakhs so far this year.

According to the Upazila Agriculture Officer, Ekram Hossain, dragon fruit, originally from the United States, is now produced on a large scale in countries like Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia, China, Vietnam, Taiwan, and Australia. Although imported to Bangladesh two decades ago, dragon fruit has been cultivated in various areas of the country for several years.

Ekram Hossain, the Upazila Agriculture Officer, mentioned that Habibur's dragon fruit garden is the only one in Sarail. He has visited the garden, provided necessary advice, and soon, the garden owner will be given a free organic fertilizer production kit, eliminating the need to purchase organic fertilizers.