Growers of jackfruit of six upazilas in Jhenidah are happy with both production and prices this year. Jhenidah sadar upazila agriculture officer Khan Mohammad Moniruzzaman said jackfruit, the national fruit of Bangladesh, is popular among consumers of all section across the country. Besides its great taste the fruit offers its outer surface and inner rejects as feed for animals and the seeds, are used an alternative to potato. He said there are six biggest jackfruit markets in the district attracting buyers from across the country. Farmer Iman Ali of Khalishpur village in Moheshpur upazila said he has 50 jackfruit trees in his homestead. He roughly gets 40 to 60 jackfruits from each tree. This year, he also got bumper production like the last year. He earned Tk 80,000 by selling jackfruits. The most interesting part of its cultivation is that the growers need onetime investment and continue to reap benefit for years. Johur Ali, a customer who has come from Dhaka, said they buy jackfruits from Khalishpur Bazaar where 20 to 25 trucks laden with the fruit leave for different districts like Dhaka, Chittagong, Barisal, Patuakhali, Barguna and Shariatpur every day. Islam Uddin, a grower of Elangi village in Kotchandpur upazila, said the soil and climate of the district are favourable for jackfruit production. Buyers, both local and outsiders, throng the markets here to buy quality jackfruits. Small jackfruits are selling at Tk 30 to Tk 50 per piece, medium at Tk 40 to Tk 100 while the big one sold at Tk 100 to Tk 250. Kaliganj upazila agriculture officer Nazrul Hossain said the soil and climate of Jhenidah is suitable for jackfruit cultivation. Jackfruit trees are grown in almost every homestead here. But growers do not know about modern techniques of cultivation. They are completely dependent on the whims of nature. They do not apply fertiliser on trees due to lack of knowledge and training. Most of the jackfruits are grown in the rural areas where there is no good communication. Sources at the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) of Jhenidah said 1,100 hectares (ha) of land has been used in jackfruit cultivation in six upazilas of the district. They also narrated about random felling of jackfruit trees last year. There are about 9.95 lakh jackfruit trees in all six upazilas of Jhenidah. Each tree bears some 25 to 100 jackfruits. The production of jackfruits was hampered badly in some places due to use of inferior quality fertiliser, sever drought and felling of trees randomly. About 5.5 crores jackfruits wre produced last year in the district, they added. Deputy director of DAE in Jhenidah Shah Md Akramul Haque production of the large quantity of jackfruit has been possible for favourable weather. Soil of the district is also very suitable for jackfruit cultivation. He further said it is easy to grow. It survives pests and diseases and high temperature. It is drought-resistant. The production of jackfruit could be doubled in the district by adopting modern methods and techniques in cultivation, he said He said buds of about 30 per cent of the trees were damaged due to scotching hit. On the other hand, the size of jackfruits has also been affected for this reason. Growers cannot preserve their produce due to lack of storage facility in their locality. They are compelled to sell jackfruits to middle men at throwaway prices. He urged the government to set up a preservation centre as soon as possible to preserve the jackfruits.
3 hours ago