Farmers of Tangail district are turning to banana cultivation due to the low farming costs and higher profits compared to other crops.
Due to the suitability of the red soil of the hilly areas of Madhupar, Ghatail and Sakhipur upazilas of the district, the farmers’ interest in banana cultivation is increasing and many farmers have got stability in banana cultivation.
Banana farming had been affected by the attack of the panama beetle for quite some time, but now the attack of the insect has reduced to a large extent. The labour cost in banana cultivation is very low compared to other conventional crops and banana is cultivated throughout the year.
About 70-80 per cent of the harvested banana is going to different districts, including the districts of Chattogram Division, after meeting the local demand. Banana is going to Dhaka, Mymensingh, Jamalpur, Fulbaria, Sylhet, Bhairav and different other districts of the country.
Most of the banana is sold in local wholesale markets of Jalchatra in Madhupur, Garo market and Kutubpur market in Sakhipur upazila. About 20-30 trucks full of bananas come out of these markets every day.
According to the sources of the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE), different varieties of bananas have been cultivated in the district in the current season on 4,667 hectares of land in the district.
Among them, Madhupur is the highest banana-cultivating upazila. Banana is being cultivated on 2,355 hectares of land in various villages of the upazila including Mahishmara, Sholakuri, Beribaid, Arankhola, Kuragacha, Kakrait, Bhavaniteki, Garambazar and Cauchi Bazar.
This year, 950 hectares of land have been brought under banana cultivation in Ghatail upazila. Thandapur, Sangrampur, Rasulpur, Laxinder, Dhalapara and Sagardighi are the most banana-growing unions.
The demand for bananas is increasing day by day. Farmers are able to sell bananas at higher prices than before.
Shanowar Hossain, a farmer of Mahishmara in Madhupur said, “I am planting 1,700 banana seedlings on five bighas of land this year. If the weather is favourable, both yield and profit will be good.”
Another young banana farmer, Abdus Sattar, said that the hilly area is very suitable for banana cultivation, so banana cultivation can be very profitable there. He asked the unemployed youths to grow interested in banana cultivation instead of chasing jobs to become self-reliant and eliminate unemployment.
Local farmer Sirajul Islam said, this is the first time he has cultivated Sabri banana. So far the banana plants are healthy and he hopes for a good yield.
Masud Rana, a banana farmer of Kakrait village in Madhupur said, “I grow banana and papaya along with pineapples. This year there will be a bumper production of bananas. I hope to profit this year.” This year 2,355 hectares of land are being cultivated in Madhupur upazila. A good yield is expected this year as per the target.
Deputy director of DAE Tangail Ahsanul Basar said different varieties of banana have been planted on 4,667 hectares of land in the district this season.
Banana, pineapple, papaya, and malta farmers are being advised and supported in various ways by the district DAE and Upazila Agriculture Office, he added.