Some farmers have changed economically by cultivating the spice plant Tejpata (Bay leaves) in the demarcation narrow path of croplands as alternative of Eucalyptus trees at Chenai and Biddananda unions under Rajarhat upazila of Kurigram district.
Farmers have been planting the anti-environment tree Eucalyptus everywhere including the demarcation path of croplands in the district due to its rapid growth. The Eucalyptus trees are hampering environment and ecology systems including crop cultivations.
Farmer Sadequl Haque Nuru 52, who is a chairman of Chenai union parishad, had begun the Tejpata (Bay leaves) cultivation in 2013 inspired by his elder brother (Prof. Samsul Haque). The Tejpata cultivation is being popular economically to the farmers accordingly following Nuru’s activity.
Nuru said, “At first, I planted five hundred saplings of Tejpata (Bay leaves) on the demarcation path of my croplands, but about 450 saplings were lasted. After one year, I sold Tejpata (Bay leaves) of Tk 10,000. Now he has extended up to 650 plants while he expended Tk 150 per sapling. The amount is being increased accordingly while the leaves are sold two times per year. Fertilizers and anti-insect medicine had no needed for the saplings as fertilizers were used in the croplands.”
Tejpata (Bay leaves) farmer Asad Ali 59, of Barogram village of Chenai union said, “I planted 100 saplings of Tejpata (Bay leaves) in the demarcation path of paddy fields in 2015 while 50 plants have been lasted. I sold Tejpata (Bay leaves) with Tk 500 in first time, Tk 1,500 in second time and Tk 2,000 in third time. I shall plant more 100 plants.”
Another farmer Samsuzzaman, 32, said, “I have planted some Tejpata (Bay leaves) saplings in my house yard. In upcoming season, I shall plant 100 saplings in the demarcation path of croplands as the saplings develop with a normal care.”
A Tejpata (Bay leaves) buyer Shafiqul Islam 37, resident of Chenai Haat village of the union, said, “I supplied huge graft-plants of four varieties of Tejpata (Bay leaves) to the farmers of the unions. Per piece of the graft-plants of Sylheti variety was sold at Tk 100, Singapore variety at Tk 30 and local variety at Tk 50 while Barisal variety was sold at Tk 1,800.”
“I buy raw-leaves of Tejpata (Bay leaves) in according to tree’s growth and sell those after drying. Some months ago, I sold leaves at Tk 1,200 to Tk 2,000 per maund (weight) to the traders of other districts. Farmers are being interested to cultivate it in free spaces beside croplands. We have calculated – the weight of leaves of Tejpata trees at free space is six-time than leaves of trees at shadow spaces,” Shafiqul said.
Rajarhat upazila agriculture officer Sasty Chandra Roy said, “Local people have planted Eucalyptus trees in various spaces including croplands due to be rapidly growth. But the tree is an anti-environment and unfertile for croplands. As its alternative, we are giving advice to plant other trees including spice plant Tejpata (Bay leaves) which is environment friendly.”
About 30 farmers at Bidyananda union and eight farmers at Chenai union have planted about 1,200 Tejpata trees for commercially cultivation that is being increasing every year. Tejpata (Bay leaves) farmers would be benefited through using the unused demarcation spaces of their croplands.”