Lemon farming gets popular in Jhenaidah, growers seek govt support

Published : 01 Jul 2022 09:46 PM

Renowned organic vegetable farmer Altaf Hossain of village Ganna cultivated China 3, locally known as “Elachi Lebu” on his 200 decimals of land about two years back. Thinking the potentials of the fruit, he had developed the plants with intensive care. At least Taka six lakh he had spent for land lease, tender plants purchase, fertilizer, irrigation and day labourer purchase purposes. He hoped he will harvest better from the juicy and heavy Vitamin C enriched fruit. 

But his fate had dissatisfied him badly. Now he is not in a position to visit the mature fruits for selling when the harvesting and transportation cost could not be recovered from the sale proceeds from the market.

Altaf Hossain said due to intensive care for the plants, they grew healthy and started offering bearings since next year. But the price was not up to the market then. Between mid April and May this year, he had sold the fruits for an amount of Taka four lakh, while the same is not sold anymore when the prices fall in the market. 

According to him the wholesale buyers are not showing interest to buy the same from his land. Further, he has to spend Taka 500 for each thousand pieces for harvesting and transporting purposes. Now the mature fruits are lying in the plants and rotting under the sky.

According to a source related to the office of the deputy director of the department of agriculture extension (DAE) in Jhenaidah the farmers have produced lemon on  a total of 133 hectares of land in the previous season and produced 1,196 tonnes of the fruit. They had harvested 8.11 tones on each hectare of the land on an average.  The area of lemon farming has increased they assume, while they measurement nwas yet to be completed. It will exceed the previous target for 120 percent this season, sources said.

Deputy Director of the DAE Asgar Ali when contacted said the farmers in the district has been leaning towards seedless lemon farming as the variety was providing better profit for them a few years back. 

But the demand was dropped when huge land was brought under the farming for last two seasons. The variety offers huge bearing in every season, DAEW deputy director said.

District Marketing Officer (DMO) of the department of agriculture Marketing (DAM) in Jhenaidah office Golam Maruf when contacted said the farmers of our country get involved with cultivation of any crop without assessing the future market demands with the collaboration of DAE. DAM or other agriculture related departments all along. As a result the price of the crop decreased due to huge production at filed and rush in the market. If the crop diversification method was applied in the fields, it would not affect them anyway.

As the surplus production of the crop like lemon could not be consumed locally when there was no market for the lemon export abroad, the farmers should cultivate diversified crops on the same land so that they would not incur loss anymore in the near future, Goplam Maruf said.