Sweet orange or malta are dominating the local fruit market this season due to high demand and source of nutritions. The best places for their growth are Thakurgaon, Panchagarh and Dinajpur.
The fruit was cultivated on 85 hectares of land in Panchagarh, 80 hectares in Thakurgaon and 77 hectares in Dinajpur with an expected production target of about 1,340 tonnes in the current season, according to the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE).
Malta is being sold for between Tk 90 to Tk 120 per kilogramme (kg) depending on the size and variety while the imported ones cost Tk 220 per kg in local markets.
When this year’s harvesting season began, local orchards were selling malta for about Tk 2,400 to Tk 2,800 per maund (around 37 kgs) while the price is now between Tk 3,600 to Tk 3,800 per maund, he added.
One of two varieties of sweet oranges developed through rootstock by the Horticulture Research Center at Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (Bari) in 2005. This variety is seeing higher demand than previous years as people no longer doubt its quality.
An initiative had been taken by DAE for growing bountiful quantities of malta came with a new title, “Citrus Fruits Extension, Management and Increasing Production Project”, in 2018.
The fruit is comparatively cheaper than selling the imported varieties. Consumers also prefer the preservative-free fruits as they are much more conscious about their health.
Source: The Daily Star