Litchi growers in Sonargaon upazila of Narayanganj district are expecting a return to hefty profits this year, following two years of depressed business due to COVID-19, plus Ramadan coinciding with the very short window during which the seasonal fruit is harvested in the country.
Litchi grown in Sonargaon litchi is highly coveted for its sweet and delicious taste.
The upazila agriculture officials said this year some 100 acres of land have been brought under litchi production, shared between some 200 orchards.
Visiting some of these orchards, UNB witnessed trees full of green litchis.
However, the litchi traders said there would be a delay in bringing the litchi to market, due to drought.
Every year, the litchi season starts at the end of winter and the farmers have a busy time nurturing their orchards by pouring organic fertilizer and water to ensure a good yield.
Litchi buds start to sprout in the first month of March and within one month they start turning red. Some rain helps at that point to get a good yield.
The first litchis start hitting the local market in April.
Three types of litchi—Chaina-3, Kodomi and Pati litchi-- are being grown in Sonargaon.
Alamgir, a litchi grower of Hamsadi village in Badderbazar union, said “This year, a massive yield of litchi is expected due to the dry season and each orchard expects to to generate revenues of Tk 2 lakh.”
Traders from different districts have come to Sonargaon and purchased litchi from the upazila.
Manira Akter, Sonargaon Upazila Agriculture officer, said “This year, the production of litchi is better than the previous year. We are working to boost the production of litchi. We are also providing advice to the litchi growers to increase their production commercially.”
Three deputy assistant agriculture officers visited each union of the upazila and provided necessary advice to the farmers, including on spraying pesticides, watering on time and nurturing the trees, she said.