Betel leaf farming makes rural economy vibrant

Abu Sufian

Farming of betel leaf has been playing a vital role in making the rural economy vibrabt as livelihood of many villagers are dependent on the cash crop in the region.

For a long time, betel leaf farming has been acting as the main driving force for livelihood of farmers, workers and businessmen.

Growers sell their harvested crops to the businessmen at weekly markets directly from their farming field commonly known as ‘baraz’.

As a whole, betel leaf is more profitable compared to other crops as the growers avail the scopes of selling the cash crop in local markets easily.

Muktar Hossain, a farmer of village Bakhtiyarpur in Durgapur upazila, said two types of betel leaves are cultivated in the area,

the sweet betel leaf and Sanchi betel leaf. The sweet betel leaf accounts for 70 per cent of the total cultivation and it is the more popular type among farmers.

Mokbul Hossain, another farmer of Mohanpur upazila, said his wife and he had been cultivating betel leaf for more than 21 years. Muhammad Ali,

a farmer of Chandapur village in Bagmara upazila of the district, had become self-sufficient through betel leaf farming.

As the first betel leaf grower in his locality, Ali earned fame as a successful farmer in the region. His three sons – Aminul Islam,

Abdul Hamid and Ali Hossain – supported him in his work earnestly. With the profit of farming betel leaf, Ali built a concrete house for the first time in the area.

His success had inspired many of his neighbours to set up betel gardens and they were all doing well now.

At present, Ali’s three sons set up separate baraj or betel gardens and had also become successful farmers. Aminul Islam said earlier he had very little land and owned only one garden.

Now they have 12 bighas of land and have four to five separate gardens.

He said t they worked very hard and spent most of their time nursing the betel leaf plants. Although they had little formal education,

they were now committed to educating their children with their earnings. Abdul Hamid said the demand for Bagmara’s betel leaf had risen gradually in different parts of the region, including Bogura,

Rangpur and Dinajpur. He said the leaf is also being exported to different Middle Eastern countries and had become much popular in Saudi Arabia.

Earlier, we used to sell betel leaf at different local markets like Atrai, Taherpur, Mohanganj, Mollapara and Aloknagar, he added. At present,

Aloknagar has become a big market for betel leaf and many wholesalers and retailers come to the market from different areas to purchase the betel leaf.



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