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In Maheshpur, 800 self-reliant families cultivate cool
About 600 families have become self-sufficient by cultivating Baukul (plum) in Bhatpara, a village known as Baukul in Maheshpur, Jhenaidah. Field after field Bau Cool Garden. Baukul has leased or cultivated his own land or someone else’s land. Every day 2/3 trucks are going to different places of the country including Dhaka and Chittagong.

Out of 900 families in this village, about 600 families are involved in Bau Kul farming. Out of about 3,000 bighas of land in the village, 2,400 bighas have been cultivated. Farmers are selling cool worth around Tk 3 million every day. According to the Agriculture Office, it is the largest Bau Kul farming village in Bangladesh. The locals have identified Bhatpara village as the village of Kul.

Going to the Baukul field on the spot and talking to the farmers, it is known that in 2011, the local village doctor and farmer Taju Uddin of this village started cultivating Baukul on 1.5 bighas of land with the overall cooperation of Maheshpur Upazila Agriculture Office. That year he made a lot of money selling cool. After that his interest in cool farming increased. The following year, Baukul cultivated another 4 bighas of land.

After that, Dr. Taju Uddin did not have to look back. Seeing him, the cultivation of Bau Kul started. Most of the farmers have become self-sufficient by cultivating Kul. Someone bought land, a motorcycle, someone built a house. The village has about 6 bighas of Enamul Haque, 6 bighas of Taj Uddin, 15 bighas of Sohrab Uddin, 6 divisions of Sabuj Uddin, 3 bighas of Faruk Hossain, 6 bighas of Sipon, 5 bighas of Mehedi, 6 bighas of Farooq and 6 bighas of Apiar. Every day about 2,000 men and women are working in these gardens.

The first cool farmer, rural Dr. Taju Uddin, said that in the first year, he cultivated baukul on one and a half bighas of land. Cool farming is a profitable crop. If someone is cool on one bigha of land, then it is possible to earn 1 to 1.5 lakh rupees excluding all expenses. Now he has cool land in 8 bighas of land. I saw that Baukul and Balsundari are being cultivated in about 2400 bighas of land now. He said that Bau Kul is basically a crop of 3-4 months. Boro paddy or kalai can be cultivated in the land where cool cultivation is done.

Baukul farmer Liton said that at present Baukul is being sold at a wholesale price of Tk 20 to 30 per kg. And Balsundari Cool at 40 to 50 rupees. Wholesalers in Dhaka are loading cool trucks from the garden. He further said that 90 to 100 katun kuls can be collected from one bigha of land. Balsundari cool farmer Farooq said that it costs only 30 to 40 thousand rupees to cultivate cool on one bigha of land. At present, the price of Balsundari Kul is a little higher than that of Bau Kul, which is why farmers have started cultivating Balsundari Kul along with Baukul.

Chairman of Mandarbaria Union Aminur Rahman said that Bhatpara village of this union is famous for Bau Kul cultivation. Every day the farmers are sending 2-3 trucks to different parts of the country. Many have become self-sufficient by cultivating Baukul. Along with Baukul, farmers have started cultivating Balsundari Kul. Farmers are getting more price of Balsundar Kul.

Hasanpur Upazila Agriculture Officer Hasan Ali said Bau Kul is a profitable crop. It is more profitable to cultivate it in a short time. He said that in 2011 Dr. Taju Uddin cultivated baukul on 1.5 bighas of land as a pilot project under the Second Crop Multipurpose Project (SCDP) of the Upazila Agriculture Office. Boro paddy and kalai can be cultivated in this land along with Kul. He said Bhatpara village in Mandarbaria union of Maheshpur is probably the largest Baukul farming area in Bangladesh. The Baukul farmers of this village are getting overall support from the Agriculture Office.

Overall cooperation is being provided including technical, disease, farmer training, cool packaging. A Deputy Assistant Agriculture Officer named Hasan has been posted in Mandarbaria block for the overall cooperation of Bau Kul farmers. The agriculture officer said that many people are coming to see the Baukul garden after hearing about the benefits of the cool farmers of the area and they are taking initiative to create Baukul garden on their own initiative.

Maheshpur Upazila Nirbahi Officer Mamunul Karim said that the yard has been taken with the cool farmers to motivate them. They will be assisted with a house, a farm, an association and a low-interest loan.

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