Research centre innovates six new fruits

The Rajshahi Fruit Research Centre has, so far, innovated six new
fruit varieties through intensive field-level research during the last
18 years.The varieties are: BARI Papaya-1, BARI Litchi-1, BARI Batabilebu-3,
BARI Kul-1, BARI Kul-2 and BARI Kul-3, which have gained popularity
everywhere in the country for the last couple of years in terms of
production and farmers earning.
Principal Scientific Officer Dr Alim Uddin told BSS that the centre
began its journey on nine hectares of land in Binodpur area in the
metropolis in 1976 as a sub-centre of Bangladesh Agriculture Research
Institute (BARI).
In addition to a senior scientific officer, four scientific officers
and 23 officers- employees, some 20 labourers are working at the
Dr Alim said the centre first became successful developing the BARI
Papaya-1 in 1991 and the farmers are using the variety widely by
virtue of its lucrative size, colour and market price.
At present, necessary research is progressing fast for development of
new and high yielding varieties of batabilebu, malta, litchi,
strawberry and banana, he added.
The centre has earned around Taka seven lakh after selling 13,000
saplings of various fruit trees in the last two fiscals.  Besides,
some 600 farmers were imparted training on planning, nursing and
farming of fruit trees.
Horticulture Specialist Alim Uddin told the news agency that Rajshahi
and its adjacent areas have been regarded as the country’s most
prospective fruit producing region. Production of fruit is one of the
major income-generating activities in the region, he added.
People are becoming increasingly interested in horticulture and
planting various fruit saplings around their homesteads or nearby open
spaces. This trend has created huge demand for saplings of fruit
bearing trees in the area, he added.
Fruit farming have become most profitable than other crops in recent
years bringing fortunes to thousands of farmers and commoners in the
region during the past few years.
In terms of food and nutritional value, green and ripen fruits are
vital as they are enriched with enormous vitamin A, B, C, calcium and
iron which are essential for the growth and development of human body.
He said the existing two- storey building will be elevated to a
three-storied one very quickly where a full-fledged modern laboratory
will be set up, which will help expedite the research activities of
the centre.

BSS, Rajshahi

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