The market for mountain plum is growing

Publish: 10:20 PM, January 23, 2024 | Update: 10:20 PM, January 23, 2024

Sohanur Rahman, Dighinala (Khagrachari) Representative: Commercially, high-yielding plum gardens have been developed in Dighinala of Khagrachari. The plum gardens are packed. Due to the huge demand of Balsundari, Kashmiri, Bharatsundari and sour-sweet plum in the market, small and large gardens have also been developed. Plum Cultivation is a profitable business in a short period of time, farmers and educated unemployed youth are developing gardens. Cultivation of foreign plum started in the district 06 years ago. Teacher couple Jasmin Chakma and Munna Chakma has seen success by cultivating plum on uncultivated land. The couple, a teacher, cultivated rice in South Hutchinsonpur-Tarabunia, a hilly township of Dighinala in Khagrachari district. Jasmine and Munna, primary school teachers by profession, developed this garden after retirement.

On the ground, it can be seen that the trees in the garden are hanging in bunches. The garden has several varieties of plums including Kashmiri ball sundari, apple plum, coconut, agam deshi. A few workers are harvesting mature coolies. The Jasmine-Munna couple joined hands with it. Apart from this, this teacher couple is cultivating other crops including guava, lemon and papaya. Jasmin Chakma, the owner of plum orchard, said, ‘Last 02 years ago, she arranged the garden with her own hands. She planted 500 seedlings. Last year I sold Tk 5 lakh. I hope it will sell a little more this year. ‘During this time, she demanded to make the city-oriented marketing system more active in addition to government cooperation. Gardening plans first started as a hobby. It feels good to meet the family’s needs and now sell the plum in the market. Munna Chakma said that plucking plums from the garden with one’s own hands is very enjoyable. Garden caretaker Trilak Chakma said, ‘Throughout the year I look after the trees like children. At the end of the year, when the trees bear plums, all the hard work is worth it.’ Local journalist Sohel Rana said, ‘The garden is very beautifully decorated. The plums are very juicy and sweet. In addition to education, this couple surprised us by arranging such a beautiful garden in leisure time.

Plum is tasty, sweet, juicy and larger in size than other plums. Due to the high yielding variety, there is a huge demand in the market during winter. By meeting the demand of plum in the local market, the demand for mountain plum has been created in various districts of the country including the divisional cities. After 7 months of planting, the tree starts to flower. The green color of the green, yellow, dark brown and the inner color of the fruit are white. Annual cost of plum garden per bigha is about 30 thousand taka. Excluding expenses, Bigha makes a profit of about one lakh taka. Educated unemployed youths are showing interest in farming after seeing plum garden. It is being sold at 170-180 Tk per kg. Dighinala Upazila Agriculture Officer Shahadat Hossain said, ‘There is a demand for it in different parts of the country, including the local market in mountain. As the soil of the hill is fertile, the color of the plum becomes juicy and sweet. On behalf of the agriculture office, we advise farmers to grow fruit gardens.