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Strawberry cultivation in Panchagarh


Strawberry, usually a fruit of the winter countries, has been successfully cultivated in Panchagarh district, thanks to the initiative of Jessore Golden Seed Farm.

Inspired by Dr Manzur Hossain, Professor of Botany Department of Rajshahi University, the farm set a strawberry nursery at Haldharjot village on 2.7 acres of land in Omarkhana union under Panchagarh Sadar upazila and started planting saplings on July10 last year. The farm that formally opened commercial marketing of the juicy red fruit yesterday, earlier signed agreement with Agora and Nondon in Dhaka to supply strawberry at Tk 650 per kg. The two mega shops sell the fruit at Tk 850 per kg.

Strawberry, which is usually eaten raw as fruit, is also used in preparing ice cream, jam, jelly, chocolate, biscuit and other foods. "In the current season 1.5 tonnes of strawberry may be produced on one bigha of land. The market price would be Tk 8/10 lakh. We hope that local farmers will collect saplings from the nursery within a short time," Hafizur Rahaman, director of Jessore Golden Seed, said at a function on the nursery premises yesterday.

Thakurgaon Additional Deputy Commissioner Monzur Hasan Bhuiyan attended the function as chief guest and Professor Dr Manzur Hossain of Rajshahi University Botany Department as special guest.

"The nursery has been set up here to spread strawberry cultivation among the farmers. The weather of the district is favorable for its cultivation as the winter stays here longer than many other areas of the country," Dr Manzur Hossain said at the function.
"Strawberry usually grows in the countries where winter prevails for long period. Through tissue culture, we developed the varieties that can be grown in our climate," he said. For better yield, strawberry is to be planted in November and December. The plants start flowering within one month of plantation and fruits starts ripening after 45 days. The fruiting continues up to four months.

Each plant bears around 250 to 300 grams of fruits and some 6,000 plants can be grown on a bigha of land, Dr Monjur said. Locally produced strawberry bears a bright prospect for export to different countries including Europe where strawberry is not grown in winter, he said.

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Strawberry cultivation process