Apr 20, 2014, 4:51 pm (BST)
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`Easier marketing facilities can boost strawberry cultivation'
RANGPUR, March 12 (BSS) - Officials, experts and farmers today said cultivation of high-priced strawberry would boost to bring fortunes to many if easier marketing and preservation facilities were ensured in the northern region.

"Despite bumper productions in recent years, strawberry growers are facing marketing problems and not getting fair prices due to lack of preservation facilities," noted agri-scientist Dr MA Mazid said.

Strawberry growers Harunur Rashid and Moazzem Hossain here said harvest of strawberry now continues with excellent yields and is being sold at Taka 350 to 500 per kg on an average in local markets.

"The locally produced and imported strawberry is being sold at rates in between Taka 800 and 1,200 per kg in the markets and shopping malls in capital Dhaka and other bigger cities,"they said.

Successful strawberry farmer Shomsher Ali of village Rabipur in Biral upazila of Dinajpur said he expects bumper production this season from his two bigha lands.

"I have planted 3,000 saplings of RU-3 (Rabi-3), Fesivol and Cameroon variety strawberries in my land spending Taka 1.50 lakh and I am expecting profit of Taka 3 lakh this season despite lower price and inadequate marketing facilities," he said.

"After farming strawberry in 10 decimal lands and getting bumper production two years back, I started its commercial farming from last season," he added.

Talking to BSS, local fruits' sellers at Rangpur Poura market said lack of preservation facilities causeing damage to strawberry.

"A good portion of strawberry is getting rotted at our shops, that's why we purchase only little quantity from the growers," said fruit sellers Rahim Uddin and Enamul Haque.

Horticulture Specialist Khandaker Md Mesbahul Islam of the DAE said many farmers are now cultivating strawberry in Panchagarh, Thakurgaon, Dinajpur, Nilphamari, Rangpur and Gaibandha, Lalmonirhat and Kurigram on commercial basis.

Noted agri-scientist and Adviser of RDRS Bangladesh Dr Syed Samsuzzaman said the soil, climate and topographic conditions are suitable for expanded strawberry cultivation on commercial basis in the northern districts.
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