About 972 metric tonnes of dragon has been produced by cultivating on 81 hectares of land in four upazilas of Chuadanga district this season (June-December). At least 253 youths and farmers are engaged themselves under dragon cultivation for self-employment in the district.
According to District Agriculture Extension Department, 192 metric tons of dragon has been produced by cultivating on 16 hectares of land in sadar upazila, 12 metric tons of dragon by cultivating on 1 hectare of land in Alamdanga upazila, 48 metric tons of dragon by cultivating on 4 hectares of land in Damurhuda upazila and 720 metric tons of dragon by cultivating on 60 hectares of land in Jibannagar upazila.
It is learnt, many youths have already become self-reliant through dragon cultivation. On the other hand some students and youths have been dreaming to self-employee by cultivating it.
Uzzol Hossain and Robiul Islam, two brothers of village Goherpur in sadar upazila of the district started the dragon cultivation on 3 bighas of land in 2017. But he has been now cultivating Red Velvet Dragon on 15 bighas of land at the village. About 22,000 plants are in the garden. It is sold at tk. 200 per kg. His expenditure of taking care of dragon cultivation has been estimated at tk. 40,000 per bigha whereas he is selling the produced dragon at tk. 5,00,000 from the same land this season. They are hoping to export red velvet dragon to export other countries, said Uzzol Hossain.
Uzzol Hossain also urged upon the concerned authorities to give them leasing out road sides’ government land for dragon cultivation as motivational program.
A large number of people in the district town and upazilas’ town have made dragon fruit garden on the top of roof of their building. Of them, Selton Rahman of Saatgari area in the town is a successful dragon fruit garden entrepreneur. He is known to every one of the area as dragon producer on roof of the building.
Toriquzzaman, Sub-assistant Agriculture Officer of Sadar Upazila said, these plants start flowering in May to June and bears fruits from August to December. Dragon fruits become ready for harvesting after 1 month of flowering. Fruiting time continues till December. Picking up these fruits can be done up to 6 times within this period.
Bevash Chandra Saha, Deputy Director of District Agriculture Extension Department said, producers have been getting fair price from the markets. Farmers including officials of Agriculture Department are trying to spreading dragon cultivation among the youths and other farmers in the district.
Umme Atika Mollik Akhi, Nutritionist and Health Educator of Chuadanga Diabetic Hospital told the Bangladesh Post, it contains rich in vitamins, minerals and iron that’s why this diet may help prevent chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes and arthritis.