The farmers of Nabinagar in Brahmanbaria eye on Bari Malta-1 cultivation as the citrus fruit of the area has gained popularity both at home and abroad.
Due to the high demand and massive production of Malta, the farmers expressed their hopes that farming the fruit would be a boon to change their fate.
The weather of Bangladesh is favourable for cultivation of this variety of the fruit. The farmers of Nabinagar have been expanding Malta cultivation as the demand and popularity of Bari Malta-1 are being increased day by day.
Farming of the variety was first started in 2016. The farmers can make good profit by farming Bari Malta-1 as the production cost of it is low.
According to agriculture department, two-third of the total citrus fruits around the world is Malta. Although Vietnam, North-Western India and South China are the places of origin of Malta production, the fruit is now being grown well in many places despite the warm weather. Malta farming is more convenient than orange due to its easy adaptability.
Farmers said that around 100 to 120 Malta saplings are planted on each Bigha land. Fruits can be harvested from the plants for 20 years at a stretch. Malta can be harvested after two years of planting the saplings.
A total of 10 to 20 kgs of Malta can be harvested in the first year of harvesting. Around 40 kgs of Malta can be harvested from the following year, they added.
Sources said Malta cultivation has been gaining popularity among the farmers of Nabinagar. The farmers were trained by Upazila Agriculture Office to enhance the production of the citrus fruit.
After visiting a 20-Bigha Malta garden at Narui village under North Kaitala union of Nabinagar upazila, it was seen that there were plenty of fruits in each Malta plants. The owner of the garden, Ripon Miah, said, “I started Malta farming in 2020. The fruits are plentiful in my garden now.”
“If other farmers start Malta farming seeing me, we won’t have to import Malta from aboard,” he added.
Deputy-Assistant Agriculture Officer said the soil of Nabinagar is very suitable for Malta farming.
“We are providing Malta saplings, spray machines and other equipments to the farmers of the area at no cost. We are also giving them guidelines for a better cultivation of the fruit,” he added.
Upazilla Agriculture Officer Jaglul Haider said, “Recently, some 10 Malta gardens have been commercially prepared in Nabinagar upazila. The farmers of the area have become enthusiastic to cultivate Malta. The best time of harvesting Bari Malta-1 is from mid-September to mid-October.”