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Cashews nut farming gains ground in Sherpur


Published : 11 Dec 2023 09:00 PM

Cashew nut farming in the hilly areas of Sherpur district has shown prospects of commercial success.

The pilot programme started last year under the Cashew Nut and Coffee Research, Development and Extension Project, for the first time in the greater Mymensingh region, said Dr Sukalpa Das, deputy director of Department of Agriculture Extension in Sherpur.

Under this project, some 25 farmers in Jhenaigati, Nalitabari and Sreebordi upazilas are cultivating cashew nuts on a small scale, he said, adding that the climate of the area is favourable for the crop.

This year, farmers harvested their produce for the first time and the production capacity will increase gradually over time, mentioned Sukalpa."Boosting the production by expanding it among other farmers will contribute to the national economy as the product fetches high prices," added Sukalpa.

The demand for cashew nuts is increasing every year with a current annual demand of 60,000-65,000 tonnes. However, only 3,000 tonnes are produced locally while the rest is imported from Vietnam and India, said project director Shahidul Islam.

"Under this project, 25,000 tonnes of cashew nut will be produced annually after five years and the production will continue to increase," he said.Around 160 trees can be planted on 100 decimals of land. After two years of sowing, each tree will produce 15-20 kilogrammes of cashew nuts yearly. The raw fruit is sold at Tk 150 to Tk 160 per kg, while the processed dry fruit is sold at Tk 1,000 to Tk 1,200 per kg in local markets, the official informed.

This crop has also export potential if the project is extended to all hilly areas. There are 22 processing plants in the country that will support its local cultivation, added Shahidul.

Humayoen Dilther, agriculture officer in Jhenaigati, said local farmers are enthusiastic about this cultivation, and more farmers would be brought under the project in future.

Many agricultural entrepreneurs and unemployed youths have expressed interest in cashew cultivating and are contacting for suggestions and advice, he added.

"We are happy with the plant growth. This crop is more profitable than other ones and we expect to get better yields," said Al Amin, a cultivator from Jhenaigati's Gajni area.

Prof Dr Abdur Rahim, ex-dean of Faculty of Agriculture at Bangladesh Agricultural University, said, "Cashew nut is considered among the most nutritious dry fruits. It has high fat content (around 50 percent), vitamin E, magnesium, zinc and a host of other minerals and nutrients.

"The fruit is also rich in copper and antioxidants, is anti-inflammatory in nature, and has analgesic, anti-diabetic, anti-cancer, anti-microbial and cardio-protective properties," he added.

Around 160 trees can be planted on 100 decimals of land. After two years of sowing, each tree will produce 15-20 kilogrammes of cashew nuts yearly.

The raw fruit is sold at Tk 150 to Tk 160 per kg, while the processed dry fruit is sold at Tk 1,000 to Tk 1,200 per kg in local markets, the official informed. This crop has also export potential if the project is extended to all hilly areas. There are 22 processing plants in the country that will support its local cultivation, added Shahidul.

Humayoen Dilther, agriculture officer in Jhenaigati, said local farmers are enthusiastic about this cultivation, and more farmers would be brought under the project in future.

Many agricultural entrepreneurs and unemployed youths have expressed interest in cashew cultivating and are contacting for suggestions and advice, he added.

"We are happy with the plant growth. This crop is more profitable than other ones and we expect to get better yields," said Al Amin, a cultivator from Jhenaigati's Gajni area.

Prof Dr Abdur Rahim, ex-dean of Faculty of Agriculture at Bangladesh Agricultural University, said, "Cashew nut is considered among the most nutritious dry fruits. It has high fat content (around 50 percent), vitamin E, magnesium, zinc and a host of other minerals and nutrients.

"The fruit is also rich in copper and antioxidants, is anti-inflammatory in nature, and has analgesic, anti-diabetic, anti-cancer, anti-microbial and cardio-protective properties," he added.