Farmers have achieved commercial success in the cultivation of ‘Chinese’ oranges (Bari Kamala-2) in the hills of Khagrachari. Juicy yellow oranges hang in bunches in the garden. After obtaining good yield by experimental cultivation at the hill agriculture research center, the farmer has succeeded in commercial cultivation. If the orange cultivation of this variety is expanded, the stakeholders hope that import dependence will decrease.
Oranges are hanging in bunches in the garden. Small sized oranges are very sweet to eat. It is Bari Kamala-2 developed by Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute. Common farmers are inspired by this experimental cultivation of agricultural research.
Farmer Noor Alam of Rasulpur village of Matiranga upazila of Khagrachari has succeeded in cultivating this variety of oranges. This is the first time he has seen profit from selling commercially cultivated China oranges. He planted only 75 orange seedlings in December 2019. Oranges are being sold at Tk 150 per kg. Working in his garden is running the family of many.
Farmer Nur Alam said, ‘I got the first harvest in 2022. This year we sold 360 kg of oranges. Some more oranges are on the tree. It is well cultivated in the hills.’
Garden worker Atiur said, ‘I work here. The family runs on the monthly salary.’
You have to wait till December to get the sweetness of oranges. Seedlings can be produced by grafting. Seedlings should be planted in monsoon. The tree starts bearing fruit from the age of 2 years. As a result, if you wait until December instead of collecting as soon as the color comes, the sweetness increases.
Abdullah Al Malek, Scientific Officer of Khagrachari Hill Agriculture Research Center said, ‘Mulching and fertilizer should be given to mature trees. As a result, the fruit cannot be collected immediately after the color appears. At least one month to wait.’
Agricultural researchers say Bari Kamala-2 or Chinese orange can be cultivated all over the country. Each tree bears 400 to 500 fruits. Sweetness is also more than common oranges in the market.
Chief Scientific Officer of Khagrachari Hill Agriculture Research Center. Altaf Hossain said, ‘Bari Kamala-2 is similar to the Chinese oranges that are imported in our country. But its main characteristic is that it is sweeter than China orange. The yield per plant is also high. It suits our country’s climate and is highly productive.’
Researchers hope that if the cultivation of this sought-after variety of oranges increases, the dependence on imports of oranges from abroad will decrease.