Obaidul Islam Rubel, in his mid-30s, did not achieve his success in Saudi date farming overnight. He had to work hard towards his lofty dream as he was discouraged by all – neighbours, relatives and friends.
"Everybody, except my father, discouraged me saying Saudi dates are unlikely to be produced in Bangladesh’s soil, and that hurt me badly,” said Rubel, a resident of Bherendi village in Nachole upazila Chapainawabganj district.
Firm to chase his dream, the young man defeated the negativity by successfully growing Saudi dates in Bangladesh soil. Rubel’s amazing success not only changed his fortune but also made him popular in his home district.
Rubel said he had been helping his poor father cultivate crops since he completed his Secondary School Certificate (SSC) examination in 2007 as he had no job.
One fine morning, Rubel said, he decided to try his luck by cultivating the dates which are actually grown in the Middle East.
Rubel started searching articles and videos on date farming in the Internet, particularly the Saudi ones, and shared his idea with his father. His father promised to help him in every way.
Later, he started collecting date seeds from his relatives living in Saudi Arabia. In 2017, Rubel brought 1.5 bighas of land under date palm cultivation with 830 saplings.
“Eighteen months after the plantation, date flowers started blooming and I felt like winning a war,” Rubel recalled.