Papaya is now very popular as a fruit and vegetable. The fruit was once grown in the backyard just to meet the needs of the family. Abu Bakar Siddiqui Sumon, a resident of Baylakhali village of Chandpasha union of Babuganj upazila of Barisal district, has created a surprise in papaya cultivation commercially. Due to his work, he has visited 22 countries and succeeded in cultivating papaya in his area. In 2022, he made a profit of Tk 6 lakh by selling only papaya seedlings. Apart from this, he has sold about 500 tons of papaya so far this year. Sold 600-1400 takas per mind depending on the time. He said that he will be able to sell 500 more hearts this year. His garden has more than 900 full-grown papaya trees of Shahi, Kashmiri, Top Lady varieties. Each papaya tree holds about 5-7 papayas. At present, rows of papaya trees are adorning the banks of two enclosures in an acre of land. There are numerous papayas hanging from the top of each tree. He is collecting papaya weighing 4 kg in maximum fertilizer.
This successful papaya farmer Abu Bakar Siddiqui Suman is now trying to inspire by planting free papaya seedlings in the courtyards of various institutions in the area (mosques, madrasas, educational institutions). These improved varieties of papaya seedlings have set a precedent by encouraging neighbors to plant them in their backyards to meet their own needs. He also gives his own papayas as free vegetables to local orphanages.
Abu Bakar Siddiqui Suman said, I am now working to encourage the unemployed and students of the area to grow papaya. If a student plants and cares for only 25 papaya trees besides studying.
It is possible to earn 1 lakh taka per season from 25 papaya trees. If there is such an entrepreneur, I myself will help to achieve success with time and effort. However, success is inevitable if you select the variety and plant the right variety of seedlings before starting a garden.
In 1993, Abu Bakar Siddiqui Suman joined the Hyundai Company in South Africa as a painter. He traveled to 22 countries for work. While traveling to Zimbabwe and Malaya, he became interested in seeing the farmers growing papaya there. With the money he earned, he bought land in the country and opened a business in South Africa. In 2014, his business was robbed (robbery). He was then financially broke. At one stage, with the help of well-wishers, he set up the business again and paid all the debts. He came to the country in 2020 for treatment due to his wife's kidney disease. At that time, he again fell into financial crisis. In 2021, Abu Bakar Siddiqui Sumon went to the office of the Babuganj Upazila Fisheries Officer for a loan on fish farming and applied for the loan.
The then Senior Fisheries Officer, Saiduzzaman, listened to Abu Bakr and suggested fish farming as well as vegetable farming. Then the Fisheries Office gave Tk 50 thousand for a project. With that money, he fenced his land and started farming fish and papaya. Papaya failed in cultivation due to mistake in selection of variety for the first time. Meanwhile, at the end of the year 21, his wife died of kidney disease.
On December 21, he sold one of his wife's jewelery for Tk 66,000 and collected good papaya seeds from Gazipur. Produce seedlings from seeds. Produced seedlings succeed by planting their own fences. In 2022, he was able to earn 6 lakh takas by selling seedlings only. Abu Bakar Siddiqui Suman also said, the seed of my success today was sown by the then Senior Fisheries Officer Saiduzzaman Sir. I never gave up on his advice and encouragement.
Apart from this, the upazila agriculture office has given me advice and support at various times. I am now invited to give lectures on papaya cultivation in different parts of the country. Apart from spiders and fungus, there are no problems in papaya gardens. If there is no natural disaster, the fortune can be changed by cultivating nutritious papaya. It is possible to solve many unemployment problems of the country if the government gets financial support in papaya cultivation.
He thinks, if the educated unemployed youth advance in farming, they will also benefit. Upazila Agricultural Extension Officer Shah Md. Ariful Islam said, I visited the papaya garden. Our Agriculture Officer Nasir Uddin Sir and District officials also visited the garden and appreciated it. Abu Bakr Siddiqui Suman is a hard working man.
He showed surprise in papaya cultivation in Barisal. To save the farmers from cheating, he himself is now producing and selling improved varieties of papaya seedlings. We wish him well.