Nursery owner Rezaul Islam has succeeded in cultivating costly spicy crop of cardamom in his native Natun Chuliyar Char village of Sadar union in Roumari upazila of Kurigram.
In addition to expanding cultivation of small and large sized cardamom, Rezaul is also producing cardamom saplings in his nursery ‘Swapno Joy’ set up on 23 decimals of land.
He is selling cardamom saplings at rates between Taka 500 (normal) and Tk 2,000 (fruit bearing) per piece to spread cardamom cultivation.
Rezaul hopes with the spread of cardamom farming nationwide, the country would not require importing the spicy commodity.
Rezaul Islam said he met Sri Lankan citizen Abdur Rahman, who became self-reliant through farming cardamom, at the ‘Biswa Ijtema’ at Tongi in Dhaka in 2010.
“Being inspired by the success of the Sri Lankan, I requested him to
bring cardamom saplings and seeds and he brought two saplings and few seeds for me when he came to the Ijtema next year,” Rezaul said.
After getting the saplings and seeds, Rezaul started his cardamom farming project in his nursery to realise his dream like Abdur Rahman.
In the nursery, every bunch of tender cardamom has come out from the roots of every tree bursting the soil making Rezaul happy.
There are enough raw cardamoms in every bunch from where Rezaul collects 35 to 50 pieces of matured cardamom after drying those properly in the sunlight.
“Currently, there are more than 2,000 cardamom saplings after selling some 400 saplings and about 3,000 trees have yielded cardamom,” Rezaul said, adding that high land under shadow is suitable for cardamom cultivation.
Rezaul had no success after planting cardamom saplings and seeds in the first three years.
Later, he started getting production from 2014, after a long period of caring for cardamom plants.
Now, in addition to meeting his own demand, Rezaul is selling his produced cardamom at rates between Taka 500 and Taka 2,000 per kilogram depending on size and quality.
Marjina Akhter, wife of Rezaul, said they do not buy small cardamom or big cardamom with other spices since the last five years.
“We are using cardamom produced in own nursery in combination with other spices while cooking foods along with selling the additional produce,” she added.
Abdul Awal, a resident of the same village, said he bought 10 cardamom saplings from the nursery of Rezaul and planted those on his homestead two years back.
“The trees have grown well. I hope the fruit will come from the next year when I will not need to buy cardamom from the market anymore,” Awal said.
President of Roumari Press Club Shujaul Islam Shuja said cultivation of cardamom by Rezaul Islam is now a much-talked topic in the area.
“People from surrounding areas and Jamalpur, Dhaka, Narsingdi, Chattogram and other districts, are coming to ‘Swapno Joy’ nursery to observe cardamom farming and buy saplings,” he said.
Deputy Director of the Department of Agricultural Extension for Kurigram Dr. Mostafizar Rahman Prodhan said he was overwhelmed after visiting the cardamom cultivation project at ‘Swapno Joy’ nursery of Rezaul Islam in Roumari upazila.
“Rezaul has achieved success in farming cardamom. The DAE is extending assistance to him and taking initiative to spread cardamom cultivation,” he said.
“If this cardamom farming is spread everywhere, there will be a revolution in spice cultivation sector of the country,” he hoped, reports BSS.