The demand for Sylhet lemon fruits is increasing worldwide

The demand for Sylhet’s lemon fruits is increasing in the international market. Photo: Sheikh Nasir/The Star

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The demand for Sylhet’s lemon fruits is increasing in the international market. Photo: Sheikh Nasir/The Star

What is the maximum amount of money that can be spent on a lemon? If you think 15 to 40 rupees can be spent at most, then the answer is not correct at all. Sylhet region has a popular lemon fruit (Citrus), which weighs 2 kg or more and each lemon is sold at a price of Tk 1,000 in the local market.

This famous citrus fruit is locally known as ‘Jara’. Large, oval, fragrant and delicious, this citrus fruit is originally a citron, which has been one of the culinary delicacies of the people of Sylhet region for centuries.

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The importance of such fruit is so great to the people of Sylhet region that not only jaara, but also, cardamom lemon ‘Shasni’ is in great demand. Zara and Shazni 2 lemon peels are mainly consumed as salad accompaniments to meals.

The demand for Sylhet’s lemon fruits is increasing in the international market. Photo: Sheikh Nasir/The Star

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The demand for Sylhet’s lemon fruits is increasing in the international market. Photo: Sheikh Nasir/The Star

Not only these two, ‘Satkara’ and ‘Ada Jamir’ are on the list of favorites of the people of Sylhet region. The bark of satkara is mainly used as a flavoring agent in cooking meat. Apart from this, satkara is also used as a pickle. And although fragrant ginger jamir cannot be eaten, it is used as a fragrant accompaniment in fish cooking.

These lemon fruits are getting so popular day by day that not only in Sylhet region, but also beyond Sylhet, the demand is increasing worldwide.

In Lalbazar of Sylhet city, a ‘Zara’ is sold for Tk 200 to Tk 1,000 depending on the shape. And ‘Shasni’ is sold at a price ranging from Tk 140 to Tk 350 each.

In Lalbazar, 1 Hali (4 Satkaras) is sold at Tk 200 to Tk 400. Another Hali Ada Jamir is sold for Tk 100 to Tk 200.

Lalbazar lemon seller Zayed Ahmed The Daily StarK said, ‘Different types of lemons worth 5 to 8 thousand rupees are sold a day. But when expatriates come to the country, the sales increase to 15 to 20 thousand taka daily.

The demand for Sylhet’s lemon fruits is increasing in the international market. Photo: Sheikh Nasir/The Star

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The demand for Sylhet’s lemon fruits is increasing in the international market. Photo: Sheikh Nasir/The Star

The price of these fruits abroad is at least 3 times higher. He said that expatriates from Sylhet bought a lot of lemon fruits when they returned to the country.

According to the data of Bangladesh Export Development Bureau, in the last financial year 2021-22, Bangladesh exported citrus fruits worth 17.35 million dollars and citrus peel worth 20 thousand dollars.

Lemon fruits are grown in hilly areas of Sylhet and Moulvibazar districts of Sylhet region.

According to the information of the Directorate of Agricultural Extension, last season 27 thousand 32 tons of 1 thousand 702 hectares of land in Moulvibazar district and 9 thousand 934 tons of lemon fruits were produced in 1 thousand 390 hectares of land in Sylhet district.

Additional Deputy Director of Sylhet Department. Farooq Hossain Daily StarK said, ‘Lemon fruits from Sylhet are being exported to Europe and Middle East countries in large quantities. But, all exports are through the capital’s Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport.

The demand for Sylhet’s lemon fruits is increasing in the international market. Photo: Sheikh Nasir/The Star

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The demand for Sylhet’s lemon fruits is increasing in the international market. Photo: Sheikh Nasir/The Star

Sylhet Osmani International Airport does not have adequate facilities for export of citrus fruits. Due to this, the lemon farmers of Sylhet region are not getting good prices and due to this the production is not increasing rapidly, he commented.

The ‘Citrus Research Centre’ under the Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (Bari) has been working since 1960 to develop improved varieties of citrus crops. It is located in Jaintapur Upazila of Sylhet.

In long research, this research center has developed 21 lemon varieties. Citrus Research Center developed 1 Zara, 1 Satkara, 3 Kamala, 2 Malta, 6 Batabi Lemon, 1 Sweet Lemon, 1 Paper Lemon and 6 Common Lemon varieties.

Although the demand for zara and satkara is increasing, there is a shortage of high yielding varieties of these 2 fruits. Apart from that, the demand for satkara is so extensive in Sylhet region that satkara is also imported from Assam, India.

Citrus Research Center Scientific Officer M H M Borhanuddin Bhuiyan Daily StarWho said, ‘Satkara is a wild tree. It cannot grow without a wild environment. Apart from that the growth of satkara tree is also slow. So farmers are not much interested in satkara cultivation. However, the demand and cultivation of other citrus fruits is increasing rapidly.

At least 10,000 lemon tree seedlings are being distributed to farmers and seedling growers every year from the research center, through which citrus fruit cultivation is increasing rapidly.

The demand for Sylhet’s lemon fruits is increasing in the international market. Photo: Sheikh Nasir/The Star

The demand for Sylhet’s lemon fruits is increasing in the international market. Photo: Sheikh Nasir/The Star

The article is in Bengali

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