Kdb Dr Md Mehedi Masood, PD & Kbd. Md. Nurul Islam, DPD has visited the Garden of Farmer Named Modhumita Chakma who has Successfully Produced Dragon Fruits, Naniarchar, Rangamati.
Year Round Fruit Production for Nutrition Improvement (FPNI) Project is a newly approved project by the Government of Bangladesh. This project is designed for the period of July 2015 to June 2020.
By the supervision of Ministry of Agriculture this project is implemented by Department of Agricultural Extension. Bangladesh with diverse soil and climate comprising several agro-ecological regions that provides ample opportunity to grow a variety of horticultural crops.
These crops form a significant part of total agricultural produce in the country comprising of fruits, vegetables, root and tuber crops, flowers, ornamental plants, medicinal and aromatic plants, spices, condiments and plantation crops.
It is estimated that all the horticultural crops put together cover nearly 1.39 million hectares area. In 2016-17, production of fruits and vegetables were about 5.06 and 4.02 million tons from 0.38 and 1.01 million hectares, respectively (BBS, April 2018).
Though these crops occupy hardly 7% of the cropped area they contribute over 14% to the gross domestic production in the country. The cereals, our staple food is somewhat secured but nutrition is kept aside so far and now time has come to take into account the nutrition security.
With the increase of population and fragmentation of land, the field crop area is decreasing day by day but the home stead area is increasing i.e. scope of horticulture is increasing.
Each year around 80 thousand hectare of agricultural land is declining which consequently increases homestead areas and other industrial purpose. So, in this project provision has been taken to address these increased homestead areas. The multistoried cropping system will be introduced to grow more crops in small land.
Horticultural crops provide gainful employment for small farmers and agricultural labor round the year. One hectare of fruit production generates 860 man-days per annum as against 143 man-days for cereal crops. Some industrial attribute crops and cultural intensive crops like banana and pineapple generate much large employment ranging from 1,000 to 2,500 man-days per hectare.
The Government of Bangladesh has given prior importance to create an enabling environment and play a supportive role so that agricultural production can move from a predominantly subsistence level to a more diversified commercial pursuit with appropriate attention to the challenges of increased productivity and environmental sustainability.
So, it is very much possible to ensure food security at the national and household level through producing high-value vegetables, fruits and other horticultural crops by implementing this project. The Government is also committed to ensure required input supplies, credit deliveries, technological support and marketing support services in this regard.
The challenge now is to grow more food with higher nutritional quality than ever before, on a continually shrinking agricultural land area.
There has been a paradigm shift in the perceptions of the farmers from production (total quantity) to productivity (quantity/unit area) to profitability (quantity/unit area/unit time/man). The solution for many of the above issues lies in developing and adopting newer techniques to boost productivity in an eco-friendly way in this region.
This project has given prior importance to the Coastal area of Bangladesh. Based on projections, population in the coastal zone in 2015 is estimated at 41.1 million. The size of the labor force would be 22.l'mil- lion.
Per capita endowment of cultivable land would decline to 0.43 ha. About 1.8 million ha cultivable land is suitable for coconut growing which is greater than that of Thailand, Sri Lanka and Vietnam. So, this potential area should be brought under dwarf semi-dwarf/newly developed exotic dwarf hybrid coconut cultivation. 50,000 coconut demonstrations would be established in selected coastal areas of the country.
Objectives of the Project
The broad objective of the project is to ensure chemical free safe fruit production round the year and nutrition for the people through holistic approach which will bring positive impacts on gross domestic products (GDP). Bangladesh is progressing to be a middle-income country by 2021.
So quality, safety and nutrition level of fruits and its production should be raised to the standard scale of developed country. The project has been prepared to satisfy the demand of the philosophy of the SDG of country with the following specific objectives:
* To ensure chemica1 free safe fruit production round the year for supplying constant nutrition nationwide.
* To disseminate the modem horticultural technologies at farmers level through demonstrations and other sustainable approaches.
* To minimize the pressure on plain land utilizing the fallow hilly areas and coastal belt for producing horticultural crops.
* To reduce import of fruits by increasing domestic fruit production and encouraging quality fruits export.
* Strengthening of existing 51 and establishing 15 new Horticulture centers.
* Quality planting materials production, fruit processing, preservation and distribution of major, minor and potential fruits, vegetables and spices.
* Collection and extension of potential horticultural crops both domestic and exotic.
* Awareness build up and institutional development through training and other extension approaches.
* Poverty alleviation through increasing women employment and empowerment in homestead and commercial horticulture.
Success of the Project
1. Establishment of New Horticulture center: Already 5 new horticulture enters have been established under this project. These are: Horticulture center, Gaibandha, Sirajganj, Badolgachi, Netrokona and Bijoynagor, Brahmmanbaria.
2. Vietnam dwarf Coconut: More than 7 lakh seedlings of two different dwarf coconuts have been imported. Another 6000 hybrid dwarf coconut seedlings also have been imported from India. Those varieties have been expanded and displayed throughout the country.
* New fruits and flowers have been blooming in those hybrid and dwarf coconut trees.
* A garden has been established in Jahaijjar chor, Swarnodip army camp, noakhali. Sorjan procedure has implemented for making that garden. The garden comprises of around 1500 trees.
* The officials from horticulture department have been trained from India. They were specially trained in coconut hybridization. Now the procedure has been implemented and hybrid seeds and saplings production by hybridization are now going on in our country.
3. Arabian date palm (Arbi khejur) extension:
vAbout 900 trees of 17 verities of Arabian date palms have been imported from United Arab Emirate for using as mother plants in different horticulture centers and research institutes. These are the saplings of tissue culture.
vMore than 30 demonstrative gardens have been established in different horticulture centers and farmers` fields. Now the planted trees are blooming.
4. Palm tree extension and demonstration:
Indian Palm tree (Taal chara) plantation with palm tree seedlings has been done on 6 km area in Swarnodip army camp, Noakhali. It is also done on the road side of Jamalpur high way (7 km) and Sherpur district high way (5 km).
5. Popularization of Sarjon system:
Dwarf and hybrid coconut trees have been planted in10 acres field of Horticulture center, Rahmatpur, Barisal. There also have been planted Arab date, Avocado, foreign Jack fruit and mango trees.
6. Jackfruit Grafts Extension:
Jackfruit saplings production has been adopted in different horticulture centers of the country. Jackfruit grafting is now more popular and it is very successful procedure for expansion of jackfruits.
" Jackfruit grafting process has been successfully going on in different Horticulture centers of Rahmatpur, Barisal, Kallanpur, Chapai Nababgonj.
vGum less and Color-Jackfruits have been expanding day by day in our country and these are very popular to the customers now a days.
7. Foreign Fruits:
The project is playing a vital role for expanding foreign fruits in the country. These fruits are: Avocado, Rambutan, Persimon, Sapota, Thai Custard apple (Sorifa) etc.
8. Root Stock:
Root Stock has been imported for the development of Malta, orange and lime fruits.
9. Kensington Pride (KP) mango:
A mango Varity named Kensington Pride has been imported from Australia. It is one of the most popular varieties in the world. By this time more than 100 mango grafted saplings have been produced. In next few months, the quantity of this KP variety will be more than 500.
Dr Md Mehedi Masood is Project-Director, Year Round Fruit Production for Nutrition Improvement Project
Email : email@example.com
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