FROM KHAGRACHARI: The green Malta (BARI-1) of the hill region has created revolution both in the plain land and hill region.
Now, people do not like the formalin-mixed imported Malta rather the local green Malta enriched with vitamin ‘C’ is very much tasty.
This great job was done by a group of scientists of Bangladesh Agriculture Research Institute of Khagrachari and Rangamati.
While entering the Agriculture Institute located five kilometers from Khagrachari town you will be amused by the scenery when the Malta trees loaded with fruits are bowing down on the hills. This Malta orchard is an attraction to the tourists coming here.
During last five years the cultivation of Malta has increased manifold commercially. The scientists have developed different types of green Malta for plain land. After long research the BARI at Sadar and Ramgarh upazilas of Khagrachari district and Rangamati district gave approval of cultivation in the plain land along with hill region. Since then the cultivation of Malta has been increasing across the country.
The cultivation of green Malta…
Chief Scientific Officer (CSO) in-charge of Hill Research Center Md. Golam Rahman was not ready to give credit to any person but to the Institute.
There was a detailed discussion with the CSO. He said that BARI-1 grows better in the hill soil. However, in any acidic soil of the country this green Malta grows better. In other soil it also grows but the result is not satisfactory. In season, each tree gives 250-300 fruits.
The sapling is grown through grafting. After three years generally the trees are not kept further. The trees are regularly taken cared and the dry branches are removed for growing new branches because the bushy trees give more fruits. Beside, fertilizer and hay are given around the trees for keeping moisture.
In the current year so far 12 thousand saplings have been distributed and sold. Each plant costs only Taka 50. Generally it flowers in June-July and the fruits are collected from the first week of October.
This Malta tree lives for 15-20 years. But it needs intensive care for whole year. He offered me a cut green Malta which was very sweet not sour like imported ones.
Established on 230 acres of land this Institute has more success stories. Cashew nut, litchi, orange, Chinese orange and dragon fruit are also under the research list. They have advanced much on Chinese orange and cashew nut.
The tourists come here and gather to see the various types of fruits and trees. However, it requires permission to enter the research center and the orchard. The scenery is also beautiful and has been compounded with small cottages on the lake.
Golam Rahman said that though they have advanced much in research but facing manifold problems. If the government can provide better accommodation and facilities of education to their wards then the research would be more advanced.
BDST: 1809 HRS, OCT 15, 2016