Fruits are very common in human life and it is very familiar in our everyday life. Time immemorial fruits play important role in food habits of different human races. Moreover, other creatures like birds and insects mainly live on fruits. In modern world fruits are very essential table items during breakfast, lunch and dinner as dessert. Even fruits are also popular in brunch and high-teas. The international fruits market stand on billions of dollars. The common fruits are mangoes, Pineapples, Apples, Oranges, Grapes and Bananas etc. In Bangladesh there are different varieties of fruits produced in different places and regions. In this context, we can refer greater Rajshahi and Dinajpur are for mangoes, Sylhet, Ctg Hill Tracts, Tangail, Gazipur are for pineapples, Munshiganj, Jashore and Bogura are for bananas and greater Dhaka, Ctg Hill districts,Gazipur,Tangail are famous for Jackfruits, our national fruits. But there are other delicious fruits also produced in different places in Bangladesh that we can brand those for promoting and marketing in the country and as well as exporting to the foreign countries like Middle-East, Europe. USA, Australia where a large number of Bengali people live since many years.
There are several varieties of non-traditional fruits produced in all over Bangladesh. Among those fruits some are as follows:
Bel, Kodbel, Ata, Sharifa(sugar apple), Kamranga, Safeda, Jamrul(star apple), Tentul(Tamarind), Chalta, Lotkon, Gab, Amlloki, Koromcha,Satkora, Jogdumar(fig), Toikor, Ashfal, Kao, Panifal etc.
Mangoes, Litchis, Bananas, Pineapples, Jackfruits, Guava, Orange, Plume, Coconut, and Papaya are very common and familiar in our country. Nowadays, some fruits are being exported to the foreign countries. The entire north Bengal, Kushtia, Jashore and Satkhira are famous for different quality mangoes. The Ctg Hill districts, Greater Dhaka and some parts of Mymenshing and Tangail are famous for different varieties of Pineapples. Banana is also a major fruit produced in Bangladesh and it is very good and popular table item in Bangladesh. It is produced all over Bangladesh but quality and brand bananas are produced in greater Dhaka, Bogura, and Jashore area. Papaya is produced in all over Bangladesh. Jackfruit is our national fruit and it is produced everywhere in Bangladesh. But greater Dhaka, Mymenshing, Ctg Hill Tracts, Sylhet and Dinajpur region are famous for Jackfruits.
In Bangladesh there are some fruit processing plants. Those plants mainly use mangoes, litchis, Pineapples oranges. But our national fruit jackfruit is very much neglected. So far we know that there is no jackfruit processing plant functioning in Bangladesh whereas Jack fruit has great potentiality for making different food items. Government and different public universities should conduct research work on the potentialities of Jackfruit.
Popularizing non-traditional fruits, Public and private sectors should come up and start research work for branding, marketing and production. The potentiality of those fruits is as follows:
a. Bel: Bel is very important fruit and it is very good for the persons having chronic constipation. It grows all over Bangladesh. But greater Rajshahi, Dinajpur, Mymenshing, Dhaka, Jashore and Kushtia are famous for Bel. In Bangladesh there exists no bel orchard but people used to plant this fruit tree in their homesteads. It works well to eradicate dysentery and good as supporting to digestion. But this fruit has no recognized branding value and for that reason extensive research is required for the development this fruit.
b. Sharifa (sugar apple): It is also a very delicious fruit all over Bangladesh. At the same time Atafal (sister fruit of Sharifa) is also produced all over Bangladesh. Especially, these two kinds of fruits are produced in the entire north Bengal. Though it grows everywhere in Bangladesh in people’s homestead area. Both Atafal and Sharifa have medicinal value and it is useful to eradicate blood dysentery and it also reduces thirstiness. So special attention should be paid to these fruits and intensive research should be conducted for high production and branding of these fruits.
c. Gab: It is also a well-known indigenous fruit in Bangladesh. Kushtia, Jashore, Faridpur, Mymenshing, Tangail, Khulna, Borishal are the areas of Gab trees. It grows in the jungle and shady areas. It has got some medicinal value. It is good for eradicating loose motion and useful to protect body from worm. We can popularize this fruit and by intensive research we can develop species of this tree.
d. Lotkon: It is another very popular indigenous fruit in Bangladesh. It grows mainly in the district of Narshingdhi, Sylhet, Gazipur and Netrokona area. The taste of Lotkon is a combination of sour and sweetness. It is very useful to stop vomiting tendency. Twenty to thirty years back it was just jungle fruit. But nowadays, it has become a very good table item in the urban areas of Bangladeshi, especially in Dhaka. It is now exported to foreign countries also. But this fruit needs promotion for branding. Government or the appropriate authorities should undertake research program to develop this fruit.
e. Jamrul (Star apple): It is a juicy fruit with very little sweetness. It grows all over Bangladesh. Mainly people used to plant this fruit trees in their homesteads. It contains vitamin B-2 and it has little nutritious ingredient and very useful for diabetic patients. It may be a very good table item after breakfast and lunch. Government fruit research Centre should take initiative to promote this fruit of Bangladesh. In this way it will get a branding image.
f. Tentul (Tamarind): Tamarind is a very common indigenous fruit in Bangladesh. It grows everywhere in Bangladesh. But in the north Bengal area we see plenty of tamarind trees. Generally its taste is sour but it very useful to human health. Tamarind juice is good for stomach and in time of heat wave this juice gives peace to the persons who drink it. Through intensive research we can develop the species of so that the marketing of this fruit will be expanded. We know in Thailand, there developed the spices of tamarind and the quality and sweetness have been increased. This is one of the export items of Thailand. In Bangladesh Thai sweet tamarind is available in Dhaka’s fruit markets.
g. Tal (Palm fruit): Palm fruit is also a common non-traditional fruit in Bangladesh. It grows mainly in Faridpur, Jashore, Kushtia, Rajshahi, Khulna and Dhaka regions. Everything of palm trees is useful to the people. Apart from the fruits palm leaves are the raw material of hand-made hand-fan. Its trunk is raw material for making canoe and its log is used as pillars and joist of the tin-shade house. The immature palm fruit core is also popular to the people. Apart from this tal misri, tal patali, tal gur are also prepared from palm tree juice. Ripen palm fruit juice is also used to prepare different kind of sweet items. Tal misri is good for them who suffer from cold fever. But in our country no significant research was done on this fruit. We can make this fruit more useful through intensive research. Government and appropriate authorities should take appropriate steps to make this fruit more useful to the people.
h. Satkora: Satkora is another non-traditional citrus type fruit of Bangladesh produced in Sylhet area. It is very popular in Sylhet. Its cortex is very thick and fleshy and juicy area is little. Mainly it is used to prepare pickles in Sylhet area. The Satkora pickle is also popular in other parts of Bangladesh. Nowadays this pickle is also exported to abroad. Agricultural department should take necessary action for branding this fruit.
i. Jogdumur (Fig): Jogdumur is a non-traditional fruit of Bangladesh. It is seen everywhere in Bangladesh in Jungles and bushes. It has got some medicinal value. It is useful for diabetes and liver diseases. People use it as vegetables. This plant can survive in drought and salty water. To popularize this fruit government can undertake research program.
There are other many non-traditional fruits produced in Bangladesh. Among those fruits, we can refer Panifal, Toikor, Kao, Ashfal, Golapjam, Khudijam, Orboroy, Koromcha, Bilati Gab, Dewa, Sofeda etc. Every year we import foreign fruits spending a lot of foreign currencies. If we could able to popularize non-traditional fruits and market those properly the picture of fruit markets could have been different and Bangladesh would emerge as potential fruit producing country in Asia. So it is the high time that government and appropriate authority should take initiatives of promoting and marketing of uncommon fruits in Bangladesh.