A newly introduced high-yielding variety of orange has seen successful cultivation in the district, following research by Bangladesh Agriculture Research Institute (BARI) at its Hill Agricultural Research Station in Khagrachhari Sadar upazila.
Cultivated on experimental basis, 22 trees on 100-square-metre area yielded 20 to 25 fruits each this season.
The botanical name of the China-origin fruit is Citrus reticulata.
It turns yellow when fully ripens and weighs 30-40 grams each. Its thin peel is very easy to remove.
With 13.2% total soluble solids and 1.16%, acid, the juicy fruit is sweet in taste, said officials of Hill Agricultural Research Station, Khagrachhari office.
The species is planted from May to July. The sapling can be obtained from seed or grafting.
About 625 saplings are planted per hectare. Trees start fruiting within 3-4 years and 35-40 fruits are harvested from a four-year-old tree, said Senior Scientific Officer Dr Mohammad Abdur Rouf, referring to their research.
The trees flower during March-April and the harvesting period is November-December.
“Sandy soil with good drainage facility, like that in the eastern hilly areas of Bangladesh, is suitable for the species. With proper irrigation and mulching, it can provide high yield as the variety is less vulnerable to pests and diseases,” the official said.
Dr Mohabbat Ullah, chief scientific officer of Khagrachhari office of BARI, along with four senior scientific officers Dr Mohammad Abdur Rouf, Mohammad Mazharul Karim, Shahadat Hossain and Mohammad Salim started research on the orange variety in 2008 and saw the successful cultivation this season.
“The China-origin variety of orange is a new addition to the fruits of Bangladesh. We have sent a proposal to the authorities of National Seed Board for its registration as ‘BARI Kamala-2,” Dr Mohabbat said.
“Many local fruit gardeners are now seeking assistance from BARI to raise orchards of the newly introduced fruit. Its cultivation bears bright prospect for the country as huge amount of orange is imported from abroad every year,” he said.
Source: The Daily Star