Green malta is now being cultivated on a large scale in different villages of Cumilla district, raising the hope of better income generation among the growers.
The cultivators of the citrus variety fruit are delighted to get a fair price by selling their produce.
Consumers, on the other hand, are also happy to get formalin-free fresh malta.
Widespread malta cultivation is now going on in various villages of Adarsha Sadar, Sadar Dakshin, Barura, Lalmai, Nangalkot, Debidwar, and several other upazilas of Cumilla district.
According to the Department of Agricultural Extension, Cumilla, green malta has been cultivated on about 30 acres of land in different upazilas of the district this year.
In addition, farming of the fruit by many farmers has remained unreported.
To sup up, more than 300 farmers in the district are involved in malta farming.
The locally-produced malta is widely sold in the fruit shops of Cumilla city, especially Kandirpar, and different other upazilas of the district.
Abdur Rob, a resident of Muguji village in Cumilla's Barura municipal area, has attained grand success in producing malta.
He said, "I was in exile for a long time. I came to the country and started a small business in the local market. I had a piece of land of my own next to the house. All of a sudden, I planned to create a fruit orchard on that land. One day I watched an exclusive programme on malta cultivation and its potential on YouTube.
Three years ago, I contacted Tariq Mahmudul Islam, the upazila agriculture officer, to know how to cultivate malta commercially. With his help, I stared cultivating malta on the 17 decimal land."
He has got a satisfactory yield of malta this year.
He has received 35 kgs of malt from each of the trees this season.
The malt produced in his orchard is large in size and very sweet.
He does not sell the fruits to wholesalers. He sells these to the people of the village at a low price. As a result, everyone can buy the fruits.
An official at the Department of Agricultural Extension, Cumilla, said malta is to be imported nearly 100 per cent now to meet the country's demand.
Large supplies come to the country from India and China, most of which contain harmful chemicals, said the official.
Country-produced malta is now available in the market, which is meeting five percent of the local demand.
"If this momentum continues, we will be able to export malta in the next five years. We are encouraging farmers to cultivate malta," the official added.
District Agriculture Extension Officer Surjit Chandra Dutt said many people are becoming interested in cultivating malta after seeing its good yield.
Many farmers are contacting the district's agricultural extension office to acquire knowledge about the technical know-how of malta farming.
"There is a lot of potential for mala cultivation in Cumilla. We give advice and support to the interested farmers in producing malta," said the officer.