Betel leaf cultivation on rise in Dinajpur
Published : 04:46 PM, 6 January 2018 Saturday | Updated: 05:07 PM, 7 January 2018 Sunday
Betel leaf cultivation is increasing day by day at Chirirbandar upazila in Dinajpur including its vast Barind tract as it requires less cost for cultivation and irrigation compared to many other crops. The farmers are showing more interest in betel leaf cultivation since they got its lucrative market price in the last couple of years.
75 percent of betel leaves, which were produced here, is supplied in different districts with the local demand,. Many people think that betel leaf cultivation is the blessing for them which is left by their ancestors. That`s why farmers of the upazila are interested in betel leaf cultivation.
Upazila Agriculture Office sources said that the seven acres of land is cultivated betel leaf on the basis of commercial cultivation in the upazila this year. Betel leaf was cultivated in 95 percent of the villages in the southern town. At present, 20 families of the upazila are involved in this cultivation.
Betel leaf farmer Pobitro said 12-15 seedlings can be planted from each plant. The field of betel leaf is prepared from bamboo, jute, GI strings, kashaban, a leaf from Areca catechu and thread. When the plant is 4-5 inches long, then a 5-6 feet long jute stick is placed on the side. The leaves grow slowly and matured for sale after 5-6 months. Then it can be taken to the market in every 8-10 days.
Farmer Laxmi Kanta said that two types of betel leaves is cultivating in Chirirbandar, such as sweet betel leaf and Sanchi betel leaf. However, 70 percent of the total cultivation in the upazila is sweet betel leaf.
Dinesh Chandra Dutta said that he and his wife, both of them have been cultivating betel leaf for more than 21 years. At present, they has 25 percent land of betel leaf and he sells taka 4000-5000 in every market (two days in a week).
Md. Hamid Shah, Deputy Assistant Agriculture Officer of Isubpur Union, said that the prices of the market are low due to high production of betel leaves during the rainy season. And due to low yield in the winter, prices are rising. Farmers are regularly advised to increase the production of betel leaf in the field, to eliminate diseases and the appropriate use of fertilizers and pesticides.
Upazila agricultural officer and agriculturist Mohammad Mahmudul Hasan said, because the soil of Chirirbandar is suitable, there have been plenty of betel leaf cultivation for a long time. Now the yield of betel leaf is increasing every year. On behalf of the Department of Agriculture, all kind of consultation is being provided to farmers.