The farmers of Kurigram district are cultivating banana in a large scale as it is cash crops.Farming of banana is gaining popularity in the district as the soil of the area has been proved suitable for cultivation of the popular fruit.
Meanwhile, tender banana plants, cultivated during the current Kharif-1 season, are growing superbly amid excellent climate conditions as its harvesting will begin later this year in the region.
“Farmers are showing keen interest now in farming bananas to meet their own nutrition, public nourishment, local Sub Assistant Agriculture Officer Abdul Mazid said. After being inspired by the DAE and other agriculture related organizations, farmers are expanding cultivation of bananas as a cash crop round the year both in the mainland and riverine char areas to reap more profits than many other crops.
The field level DAE officials are assisting farmers, riverside and char people to expand cultivation of ‘MeherSagar’, ‘Sobri’, ChiniChampa and other varieties of banana on more lands both in mainland and char areas round the year. The cultivation of the crop is continuously increasing every year as it is very demandable.
With the DAE assistance, small and marginal farmers and landless char and riverside people have cultivated bananas in all the nineupazilas of Kurigram district in the region this year.
Kurigram Department of Agriculture Extension official sources said the target of banana cultivated on 500 hectares of land with achievement on 435 hectares and harvested on 435 hectares of land, 35 metric tons of production in per hectares on an average and a total of 15225 metric tons of production last year. But in this current year the cultivation target of banana on 445 hectares of land and the production 48 metric tons in per hectare.
In Nageshwariupazila of Kurigram, char and riverside people have cultivated bananas on around 250 acres of riverine char lands in Bamondanga, Berubari, Raiganj, Kochakata, Bolloverkhas, Kaliganj.Motherganj,Narayanpur and Bhitorband unions this year.
Talking to farmer Sajemuddin 60 of Bamondanga union in the upazila said a group of char people led by him started cultivating banana on 20 acres of char lands two years back.
Farmer Safi Uddin of the area said char people are selling bananas on one side of char lands and cultivating bananas afresh on the other side on vacant lands round the year.
“The process of cultivation, formation of bananas and growth of new banana bunches continues all the time giving the gardens fresh looks,” he added.
Cultivation of bananas along with vegetables in relay methods has become popular to change the fortune of many people in the region.Local agriculturists opined that banana cultivation is very profitable at present causes a good number of farmers in the district show their interest in banana production than previous years.
Many people have started farming bananas with vegetables and other crops adopting intercropping and relay methods both on the mainland and char areas on a commercial basis also contributing to their economic development.
The DAE and some NGOs are assisting farmers and providing latest technologies for expanded cultivation of bananas as a cash crop to improve their livelihoods as well as living standard in the region.
There was no problem with selling bananas because the wholesale traders purchased those from their fields.
At present, a huge supply of bananas is seen in the markets of KurigramSadar,Bhurungamari,Nageswari,Fulbari,Rajarhat,Ulipur,Chilmari,Roumari and Rajibpurupazila, However, KurigramSadar ranked first in banana cultivation.The banana is being cultivated in all the char areas of the River Dharla under Holokhana and Bhogdanga union in Sadarupazila which are flooded in Kurigram markets. The banana is being sold in all the local markets like a hot cake in the current month of Ramadan because banana is a nutritious and good for Iftar item every day.
Several banana sellers said in Kurigram ideal municipality and Zia market that this year, the price of bananas was satisfactory. The better size banana is being sold in the retail market at Taka 30-35 per hally(four nos) and the small size is also sold at Taka 20-25 per hally.
Meanwhile, fruit-bagging banana farming has been started here for the first time in order to make cash crop farming hygienic and profitable.
The description of verities of banana are follows: Sagor- Sagor is the most popular dessert banana in Bangladesh. It is also known as AmritSagor or Amritsagar. The plant is medium-sized and cannot withstand strong wind. The ripe banana develops a bright yellow color. The average bunch has 5-7 hands and 12-13 fingers in each hand1.Raamsagor is the most famous Sagor for its large size, test and flavour.
Sabri: Sabri ispopularly known as Malbhog. It is a popular dessert cultivar, widely grown in the north and western areas of Bangladesh. This tall plant has a yellowish green with brownish blotches. The margins of the petiole and leaf sheath are reddish. The average bunch weight is about 10 kg. A bunch contains 85-120 fingers. Fruits are medium-sized. The peel is thin and the pulp is ivory-yellow in color. Its texture is firm and taste sweet. However, hard lumps sometimes form in the pulp and the ripe fruits drop easily1.
ChiniChampa :ChiniChampa or Champa is one of the hardiest and tallest cultivar grown in the country. Its cultivation is especially widespread in the Chittagong and Chittagong Hill districts. It can be grown under rain-fed condition or with menial irrigation. Its fruits are small and have a thin peel. The pulp is creamy in color and its taste is sub-acid. The fruits turn golden yellow when ripe and keep well. The bunch contains 150-250 fingers and weighs about 16 kg1.
Mehersagar: Mehersagar is a medium-dwarf cultivar. Its fruits are large and have a greenish to dull yellow color when ripe. The flesh is very soft and sweet. The keeping quality of fruits is poor and the market price is less. The average bunch weight is about 15 kg. It is susceptible to leaf spot diseases1.
AtiaKola:Atia Kola contains soft seeds. It is generally consumed by young people. It provides relief against constipation and intestinal disorders. The boiled and mashed inflorescence and pseudo stem of the young plant are also consumed.
Bichi Kola: Bichi Kola also has soft seeds. It is found throughout the country, near roadsides and footpaths.
Kacha Kola: Kacha Kola, also known as Anaji Kola, is the most commonly found plantain in the country. The fruit is rich in iron and the inflorescence has a good anti-diabetic effect.