The success in orange farming in the district owes its credit to ambitious youth, Faruk, who now has over 200 orange trees from which he expects a good profit
A newly introduced high-yielding China Jhuri orange farming has emerged as a lucrative venture, captivating the attention of the youths in the Kurigram district.
This trend is particularly evident among educated young individuals who are steering towards cultivating this high-demand variety on a commercial basis, aiming for self-reliance and financial prosperity.
One such ambitious youth, Faruk, is on the verge of realizing his dream of self-reliant farming by cultivating the China Jhuri variety of oranges in Kurigram. Upon visiting his two-bigha land, it was evident that Faruk had dedicatedly planted over two hundred orange trees, with the vibrant yellow oranges now ripening and presenting a picturesque sight. Remarkably, the orange trees bore fruit just 18 months after being planted, and at the current age of thirty months, Faruk has transitioned his efforts into commercial orange farming. Anticipating a bountiful harvest in the next twenty days, he expects a yield of around 15-20 maunds, fetching approximately eighty thousand in the wholesale market. This projected profit is poised to double after deducting cultivation costs.
Hailing from Belgacha union in Kurigram Sadar Upazila, Faruk, the son of Kazi Habibur Rahman, chose agriculture as his path to self-reliance after completing his education. Undertaking a combined orchard on his father's six-acre land, he cultivated a variety of fruits, including mangoes, Malta, grapes, and the sought-after China Jhuri oranges. His decision to invest in the latter was inspired by the rising market demand and the potential for profitable returns.
Initiating the cultivation with one hundred orange trees sourced from Bogura, Faruk employed a cutting system (colom) to propagate additional trees. The success of this method was evident as he started obtaining fruits from these trees after 18 months, marking the commencement of his commercial endeavors. He emphasized that the cultivation process posed no major challenges, attributing the success to timely applications of compost fertilizer, anti-insect measures, and anti-fungal treatments.
Expressing his passion for agriculture, Faruk stated that he deliberately chose not to pursue traditional job opportunities, opting instead to contribute to the agricultural sector and capitalize on the growing market for China Jhuri oranges. He highlighted the exceptional taste and sweetness of the oranges in his farm, showcasing the potential for quality produce in the region.
Moreover, Faruk sees the cultivation of China Jhuri oranges as a means to reduce the country's reliance on imports, addressing the demand for oranges in the local market. He envisions the possibility of not only meeting domestic needs but also exporting oranges to foreign countries, thereby contributing to the country's foreign exchange reserves.
Visitors to Faruk's farm, like Mohammad Kabir Hossain, expressed admiration for his efforts and foresightedness. Hossain, inspired by the potential profitability, announced his plans to venture into orange farming and sought support from the agriculture department.
Deputy Director of Kurigram Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE), Biplob Kumar Mohanto, acknowledged the novelty of orange cultivation in the district. He assured Faruk of the department's full support, emphasizing that no specific target for orange farming had been set, and the agriculture department was prepared to assist and encourage such initiatives in the region.