Pears are not a local fruit in Bangladesh, but researchers at Akbarpur Regional Agricultural Research Station in Moulvibazar have successfully grown the fruit recently. The pears at the research centre are surprisingly large and sweeter than the imported ones.
Why pay extra for imported fruits if they can be grown at home? This Prothom Alo correspondent recently visited the research centre where pear trees are growing in a corner of its grounds. The succulent pears were hanging from the trees.
The mother orchard was created in 2010, according to the research station. There are at least 35 trees in the orchard now.
The agriculturists were initially unsure whether the trees would bear fruit and how these would taste.
The fruits began to appear first in 2017. The trees bloom from mid March to mid April. The fruits can picked from mid July through August.
Each of the trees bore 60 to 70 pears, green and brown in colour. Each pear weighs 135 grams on average. The skin of the fruit is a bit rough. The pears grown in Akbarpur research station are sweeter than the imported ones.
Pears commonly grow in mildly temperate areas, especially in Europe and Australia.
Bangladesh imports these from Europe and Australia.
There are some species that can be grown in tropical climates as well. Considering the demand of this fruit in the country, Bangladesh Agriculture Research Institute (BARI) developed BARI Nashpati-1 in 2003. The orchard in Akbarpur regional research station is the mother orchard of this variety.
Senior scientific officer Sharaf Uddin said, pears have not yet started to grow commercially in the country.
“Pears are less vulnerable to insects. Pear farming has a great potential in the hilly regions of Sylhet and Chattogram. Besides, the fruit can be cultivated on comparatively high land as well,” he added.