Chapainawabganj, Sept 17 (UNB) – Farmers of Nachole upazila in the district are showing more interest in cultivating dragon fruits commercially sensing its profitability and favourable growing condition.
The juicy fruit is known as ‘pitaya’ in Thailand and the origin of the fruit in South America. Dragon fruit belongs to cactus species and its scientific name is “Pitay”.
Rafiqul Islam along with three of his friends first started to cultivate the fruit on experimental basis in Kendobona area of the upazila.
After getting some profit, their became more interested in cultivating the profitable fruit on large scale.
Watching videos on dragon fruit cultivation on Youtube channel several years ago, Rafiqul of Balugram village in Gomostopur upazila, became enthusiastic to grow dragon fruit himself.
After consultation with the Department of Agriculture (DAE) and other people concerned, he along with his friends started to cultivate it on a six-katha land investing around Tk 1 lakh. At present, they have more than 300 dragon fruit trees in their orchard.
Although they could not make a good profit in the first year, they started getting it from the second year.
Mentioning that the cultivation of dragon fruit is profitable, Rafiqul said they are expecting good profit this year, adding, "The cultivation process is not only easy but also the required investment is very low."
Looks like cactus, each dragon tree lasts for 20-30 years and gives 20-25 fruits each season. Though the fruit is new in the country, there is a demand of the fruit among people, said Rafiqul.
He said they sell the fruit to local customers for Tk 300-400 per kilogramme.
Rafiqul’s friend and business partner Nur-e-Alam Siddiqi Babu said the demand of the fruit is increasing as it looks beautiful and the taste is also good.
Many farmers of the district are coming to see their orchard and after seeing their success, many of them showed interest in dragon fruit farming.
Agriculturist Dr Md Saifur Rahman, deputy director of Chapainawabganj Horticulture, said, “We have got success cultivating dragon fruits in our centre. Soil and weather of the district are favourable for the fruit. Besides, the taste is very same as dragon fruits grown in other countries.”
Mentioning that dragon fruit farming is profitable, he also said that there are many seasonal fruits from May to October in the country. “But, very few are grown in the period of September to October and dragon fruits are available in this time. So, the farmers can make a very good profit from selling it,” the horticulturist said.
He also said that the fruit is very nutritious and helps to control high blood pressure and diabetes.
They are encouraging local farmers by visiting their orchards as well as providing training on how to cultivate the fruit, he added.
Beanibazar, Sept 16 (UNB) - Beanibazar Mukhtijoddha Complex has remained locked since its inauguration one year back, said local freedom fighters.
After its inauguration by Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid, the complex was opened for only one day for a reception programme, the freedom fighters alleged.
They also said freedom fighters have no place here for holding any meeting or gathering which obstructs their activities.
Contacted, Upazila Executive Engineer Ramendra Hom Chowdhury told UNB that the Local Government Engineering Department built the four-storey complex spending Tk 3.5 crore.
There are eight shops on its ground floor, freedom fighter offices on the 1st and 2nd floors and an auditorium on the 3rd floor.
“On completion of the construction works, the complex building was handed over to the authorities concerned one year ago. But, we don’t know why the building is not being handed over to freedom fighters. Now, the key of the building is with the upazila nirbahi officer,” he added.
Shahid Ali, former commander of Pouro Mukhtijoddha Sangsad, said they requested the UNO several times for opening the building. “We also brought it to the notice of the local MP and the Deputy Commissioner of the district, but there has been no response so far,” he added.
Although it was supposed to be built on 18 decimals of land, it was done on only eight decimals, he said adding, “A local powerful group is trying to occupy the rest of the land.”
Shahid Ali said he had requested the local administration to settle the issue and transfer the land to the Sangsad. “But, an influential quarter is now trying to grab the land. Although the administration promised to settle the dispute, no initiative has been taken yet,” he added.
On the other hand, upazila parishad chairman and former commander of the sangsad Ataur Rahman Khan said there is a division among the local freedom fights. “As long as they reach an understanding, the complex should not be opened,” he said.
Contacted, Beanibazar UNO Kazi Arifur Rahman said as there is no elected commander of freedom fighters, it is his responsibility to take care of the complex. “So, I kept the key with me,” said the UNO.
“I’ll hand over it to an elected commander once I get the government instruction,” he added.
Dhaka, Sept 16 (UNB) – BNP is getting ready to unveil its long-awaited election-time ‘supportive-government framework’ in line with the thoughts of other opposition parties involved with the process of forging a ‘national unity’ to hold the next polls in a credible manner.
Talking to UNB, party senior leaders said they have almost completed the work on making the election-time government outline, and now they are taking the suggestions of other parties like Gono Forum, Bikolpo Dhara Bangladesh, Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (JSD-Rob), Nagorik Oikya and the left ones so that they can place a similar framework on it once a greater national unity is forged.
They also said the election-time government framework can be placed either by the greater unity platform or by BNP before the last session of the current parliament begins in October.
The BNP senior leaders said the United Nations and some influential countries may take initiatives so that political parties here can reach an understating over holding a credible and inclusive election, and some representatives from the UN and other international bodies may visit Bangladesh in mid-October or early November.
Under the circumstances, they said, it is very crucial for their party to come up with a comprehensive outline on the election-time government.
A BNP standing committee member wishing anonymity said their party strategists had submitted a draft of the election-time government outline before Khaleda Zia went to jail. “We’re now working on it and will finalise it after taking suggestions from other parties.”
As per the draft outline, he said, the tenure of the election-time government will be three months and it can be formed either amending the Constitution or not amending the Charter.
The BNP leader said their party strategists suggested various formulas on the formation of the supportive government. “But our party senior leaders are in favour of a polls-time government like that of 1991 based on a consensus of all political parties. We may also give a proposal of forming an all-party 10-member cabinet -- five from the existing MPs and five technocrat members from different registered parties-- headed by the President sending the Prime Minister on leave.” He said their strategists also recommended formation of the election-time government comprising former caretaker advisers and non-political accepted persons on the basis of consensus among political parties.
“There’s also a proposal of forming the polls-time government under Sheikh Hasina through curbing her executive power and giving the charges of important ministries to technocrat cabinet members. We’ll finalise the framework after discussions with other opposition parties,” he said.
Contacted, BNP standing committee member Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain said they are working on the framework. “We’re in discussions with other political parties to forge a national unity. Most of the parties don’t want to join the next polls under the current government. So, we’re trying to formulate a comprehensive polls-time government outline so that all parties support it.”
He also said the framework will be presented before people at a suitable time once they reach an understanding with other parties to forge a national unity.
Another party standing committee member, Moudud Ahmed, said though the government is talking about the formation of a polls-time small cabinet, there is no provision in the current Constitution for it.
He said the current government annulled the provision of the election-time interim government through the 15th amendment to the Constitution.
The BNP leader said they are preparing for placing a framework on the election-time government with giving different acceptable and pragmatic options.
Replying to a question, he said, they are now in the process of forging a greater national unity with different opposition parties. “So, we need to take suggestions of other parties before finalising and placing the election-time government framework.”
BNP vice chairman Shamsuzzaman Dudu said though they did not formally announce the framework, their leaders through their statements give an indication that the election must not be held under incumbent Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to ensure their party’s participation in it.
“We’re trying to finalise the election-time government outline as soon as possible as we may reveal it when the next parliament session begins in October,” he added.
Dhaka, Sept 16 (UNB) - The Rohingya issue, among other pressing global concerns, will come up prominently in the upcoming 73rd UN General Assembly for the second consecutive year as a number of countries, including Bangladesh, will raise it seeking a sustainable solution to the crisis, officials said.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina placed a five-point specific proposal to ensure the sustainable return of all the forcibly displaced Rohingyas in Bangladesh to their homes in Myanmar which was appreciated by the international community.
Bangladesh is likely to place fresh proposals at the UNGA seeking a stronger role from the international community so that Myanmar acts and takes Rohingyas back from Bangladesh, a diplomatic source told UNB.
Countries like the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, France, Australia, OIC Member States and other countries are also preparing to take up the issue seeking an early solution, said the source.
Bangladesh has requested Member States of Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to include their support for Rohingya issue in their engagements during the forthcoming UN General Assembly.
State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam made the request when a 16-member delegation of the Parliamentary Union of the OIC Member States (PUIC) visited Bangladesh recently.
The delegation, comprising of MPs from seven member states of the PUIC, namely Algeria, Iran, Malaysia, Morocco, Sudan and Turkey also visit the Rohingya camps in Cox's Bazar.
US Ambassador in Dhaka Marcia Bernicat has already met Foreign Secretary M Shahidul Haque and made it clear that the US will highlight the Rohingya crisis, among others, in the upcoming UNGA, said an official.
The Australian government welcomed the release of the summary report of the UN Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar that concluded that war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide have occurred in Rakhine State and recommended actions to pursue accountability for the atrocities detailed in the report.
“We’ll continue to work internationally to this end, including through our position on the Human Rights Council, and at the UN General Assembly,” said the Australian High Commission in Dhaka.
Deputy Spokesman for the UN Secretary-General Farhan Haq on Friday said they still believe that there is much more that needs to be done in order to have conducive conditions for the return of the Rohingya to Rakhine State and other parts of Myanmar.
But at this stage, he said, they are following up and making sure that the Memorandum of Understanding agreed between the government of Myanmar on one hand and UNDP is implemented.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will leave for New York on September 22 to attend and deliver a speech in the UNGA.
Heads of state or government, members of their parties and other delegations, observers or individual members will attend it.
Bangladesh will also highlight the progress made so far, impressive economic growth and issues related to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and climate change in the UNGA.
The general debate of the seventy-third session will be held from September25 to October 1, an official told UNB.
The high-profile meeting to be known as the Nelson Mandela Peace Summit will be held on September 24.
The high-level plenary meeting convened by the President of the General Assembly to commemorate and promote the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons will be held on September 26.
The Secretary-General will convene a high-level meeting on financing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development on September 24.
The event will encourage high-level political impetus for financing the Sustainable Development Goals and inspire action by all development partners.
The Secretary General will open the event and deliver a keynote address, followed by remarks by the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, an opening panel comprising heads of state or government, and two subsequent panels featuring high-level representatives, leading investors, financial technology innovators and philanthropists, and other invited speakers.
The objectives of the event are: (a) to launch the Secretary-General’s strategy for financing the 2030 Agenda; (b) to take stock of efforts by different stakeholders to operationalise the Addis Ababa Action Agenda; and (c) to build momentum around key actions and initiatives by national Governments, businesses and the international community that have high potential to accelerate the implementation of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda and the 2030 Agenda.
Dhaka, Sept 15 (UNB) – A Bangladeshi physicist of Princeton University has led an international research team in discovering a novel quantum state of matter that can be ‘tuned’ at will — and it’s 10 times more tunable than existing theories can explain.
M Zahid Hasan and his team’s discovery of this level of manipulability of quantum matter opens up enormous possibilities for next-generation nanotechnologies and quantum computing.
Hasan, the Eugene Higgins Professor of Physics, shot to fame in 2014 when he led a team of scientists discovering ‘Weyl fermion’, an elusive massless particle theorised 85 years ago. In pursuit to an alternative theory of gravity, Albert Einstein’s colleague at Princeton, physicist Hermann Weyl, first predicted the particle back in 1929.
About the latest discovery, considered a potential gamechanger in quantum physics, Prof Zahid Hasan said, “We found a new control knob for the quantum topological world. We expect this is tip of the iceberg. There will be a new subfield of materials or physics grown out of this. … This would be a fantastic playground for nanoscale engineering.”
Hasan and his colleagues, whose research – “Giant and anisotropic spin-orbit tunability in a strongly correlated kagome magnet” – appears in the current issue of Nature, are calling their discovery a “novel” quantum state of matter because it is not explained by existing theories of material properties.
Princeton University’s Office of Communications’ writer Liz Fuller-Wright wrote elaborately about Zahid Hasan and his team’s discovery.
Hasan’s interest in operating beyond the edges of known physics attracted Jia-Xin Yin, a postdoctoral research associate and one of three co-first-authors on the paper, to his lab. Yin said, when he talked to Professor Hasan, “He (Hasan) told me something very interesting. He’s searching for new phases of matter. The question is undefined. What we need to do is search for the question rather than the answer.”
The classical phases of matter — solids, liquids and gases — arise from interactions between atoms or molecules. In a quantum phase of matter, the interactions take place between electrons, and are much more complex, wrote Liz Fuller-Wright.
“This could indeed be evidence of a new quantum phase of matter — and that’s, for me, exciting,” said David Hsieh, a professor of physics at the California Institute of Technology and a 2009 Ph.D. graduate of Princeton, who was not involved in this research. “They’ve given a few clues that something interesting may be going on, but a lot of follow-up work needs to be done, not to mention some theoretical backing to see what really is causing what they’re seeing.”
Hasan has been working in the groundbreaking subfield of topological materials, an area of condensed matter physics, where his team discovered topological quantum magnets a few years ago. In the current research, he and his colleagues “found a strange quantum effect on the new type of topological magnet that we can control at the quantum level,” said Hasan, who was listed in the Thomson Reuters' World's Most Influential Scientific Minds-2014.
The key was looking not at individual particles but at the ways they interact with each other in the presence of a magnetic field. Some quantum particles, like humans, act differently alone than in a community, Hasan said. “You can study all the details of the fundamentals of the particles, but there’s no way to predict the culture, or the art, or the society, that will emerge when you put them together and they start to interact strongly with each other,” he said.
To study this quantum “culture,” he and his colleagues arranged atoms on the surface of crystals in many different patterns and watched what happened. They used various materials prepared by collaborating groups in China, Taiwan and Princeton. One particular arrangement, a six-fold honeycomb shape called a “kagome lattice” for its resemblance to a Japanese basket-weaving pattern, led to something startling — but only when examined under a spectromicroscope in the presence of a strong magnetic field, equipment found in Hasan’s Laboratory for Topological Quantum Matter and Advanced Spectroscopy, located in the basement of Princeton’s Jadwin Hall.
All the known theories of physics predicted that the electrons would adhere to the six-fold underlying pattern, but instead, the electrons hovering above their atoms decided to march to their own drummer — in a straight line, with two-fold symmetry.
“The electrons decided to reorient themselves,” Hasan said. “They ignored the lattice symmetry. They decided that to hop this way and that way, in one line, is easier than sideways. So this is the new frontier. … Electrons can ignore the lattice and form their own society.”
The researchers were shocked to discover this two-fold arrangement, said Songtian Sonia Zhang, a graduate student in Hasan’s lab and another co-first-author on the paper. “We had expected to find something six-fold, as in other topological materials, but we found something completely unexpected,” she said. “We kept investigating — Why is this happening? — and we found more unexpected things. It’s interesting because the theorists didn’t predict it at all. We just found something new.”
“There are many things we can calculate based on the existing theory of quantum materials, but this paper (published in Nature) is exciting because it’s showing an effect that was not known,” he said. This has implications for nanotechnology research especially in developing sensors. At the scale of quantum technology, efforts to combine topology, magnetism and superconductivity have been stymied by the low effective g factors of the tiny materials.
“The fact that we found a material with such a large effective g factor, meaning that a modest magnetic field can bring a significant effect in the system — this is highly desirable,” said Hasan. “This gigantic and tunable quantum effect opens up the possibilities for new types of quantum technologies and nanotechnologies.”
The discovery was made using a two-story, multi-component instrument known as a scanning tunneling spectromicroscope, operating in conjunction with a rotatable vector magnetic field capability, in the sub-basement of Jadwin Hall. The spectromicroscope has a resolution less than half the size of an atom, allowing it to scan individual atoms and detect details of their electrons while measuring the electrons’ energy and spin distribution.
M Zahid Hasan did his SSC from Dhanmondi Government Boys High School and HSC from Dhaka College with outstanding results. He studied at the University of Texas in Austin and got his PhD from Stanford University.
He joined Princeton as a lecturer. Now, he is a professor of Physics with a specific interest in the field of Quantum Condensed Matter Physics at the university.
His research work features in Physics Today, Nature News, Science News, New Scientist, Scientific American, and Physics Worlds.