At present, Burmese grape fruit, also known as ‘Latkon’ locally, farming is widely grown commercially in Bogura. Many people are interested in cultivation of this fruit as there is a huge demand in the market and it is profitable at low cost. This fruit is being cultivated commercially in different areas of Bogura Sadar, young entrepreneurs are coming forward to cultivate this fruit.
The agriculture department is giving various suggestions to the farmers including supply of high quality seedlings of Burmese grape. The agriculture department is expecting more land for cultivation in the future. Along with other fruits in the market, this fruit is appreciated by everyone. As the demand for this nutritious fruit is increasing in the market, the interest of farmers in Latkon cultivation has also increased.
It is known that Latkon fruit is popular with people of all ages as a delicious fruit. Latkon fruit is a medium sized tree. Grows in all climates. But it does well in warm-humid climates and shady places. Can be cultivated in any fallow, barren, uncultivated land. Latkan fruits contain meat, fat, ash, minerals, vitamin C, D, iron and food energy. Hanging plants are usually best planted in summer. The Latkon tree is like a bush. Every year at the end of winter, the Latkon tree begins to bear fruit.
In Bogura Sadar, a 50 year-old Latkon tree can be seen at the courtyard of Moslem Uddin, a farmer in the area. Many people are interested in cultivating this fruit after seeing the fruits planted in his garden. The fruits can be seen swinging from tree to tree in the place where some others have fallen. Several young entrepreneurs including Ainul Haque Manik, Mintu have planted thousands of trees in this area. Every year the number of trees increased with good results. Apart from the cost of purchasing and planting the tree saplings, there is no cost, except for the application of some organic fertilizers, and there is no maintenance required. Cultivation land is increasing every year.
Farmers said that due to good yield in small land at low cost, farmers are increasing interest in farming, they will plant more trees next year.
Ainul Haque Manik, a latkon grower of Balakoigari area, said that he used to grow mangoes earlier, but he was disappointed when he did not get a good yield. Finally, he planted 300 Latkon trees in the middle of the mango garden. From the 2nd year on the 1-year-old tree, he saw profit. He said that there is no other cost except the cost of some organic fertilizers and planting without such maintenance. 1 fruit per tree, which will be sold for 3 to 4 thousand rupees.
Rakib Hossain, the entrepreneur, said that there is a Latkon tree in the courtyard of their house since the time of Bapadada. The fruit obtained from this tree is sold in the market to meet the needs of the family. The tree has been bearing fruit for a long time, they got success in experimental cultivation by getting good price for good yield. This entrepreneur said that he will cultivate on a larger scale this time.
Seeing the success in Latkon cultivation, many people including agricultural entrepreneurs Ahsanul Kabir Dalim, Abdur Rahman Babu are interested in this fruit cultivation. They said that they will start Latkon cultivation in the future.
Mir Kashim Ali, an agronomist at the Horticulture Center of the Department of Agricultural Extension, Bogra, said that after planting one-year-old seedlings, the yield is 1 to 2 maunds in the 2nd year and 5 to 10 maunds in full-grown Latkon trees. In the market, Latkon is sold from Tk 60 to Tk 120 per kg. He said that once the taste of latkon was sour and sweet, but the agriculture department is providing improved varieties of Latkon which are sweet, now the developed cultivars are no longer sour.
Farmers are being encouraged to grow Latkon in fallow and shaded areas, the tree bears fruit from the age of 2 years, fruiting up to 60 years, said the agriculture official.