Banglapedia in Bengali  

Fruit  a structure formed from a mature or ripe ovary of any plant species after fertilization has occurred. The term 'fruit' is more conveniently used to refer to the part of the seed suitable for human consumption, eaten fresh, either ripe or young. From the nomadic age to present-day civilized life fruits have been used as food. The earliest cultivated fruit appears to be the date palm. Other fruits like pomegranates, Egypt figs and olives had been popular fruits since 3500 BC. Fruits have pericarps developed from ovary walls and seeds developed from fertilized ovules.

Generally the ovary alone grows into a fruit. But in some cases calyx and thalamus are involved to form false fruits like Dillenia, cashew nut and apple. Simple fruits developed from single ovary, is the character of fruits. Aggregate fruits are developed from numerous ovaries as in jackfruit and pineapple.

Some common fruits

Bangladesh abounds with a large variety of tropical and sub-tropical fruits. The most widely cultivated fruits are mango, jackfruit, black berry, pineapple, banana, litchi, lemon, guava, custard apple, wood apple, elephant apple, golden apple, Indian berry, papaya, tamarind, melon, watermelon, cashew nut, pomegranate, palmyra, plum, rose apple, Indian olive, and Indian jujube. There are many minor edible fruits that are locally available in the wild and are also cultivated, such as latkan, monkey jack, uriam, rattan, river ebony, garcinia, water coconut, wild date palm, etc.

May, June and July are specially treated as fruit festival months in Bangladesh when almost all the major and minor fruits are matured and available. A few fruits are available throughout the year. These are the papaya, sapodilla, coconut and banana. The common imported fruits are orange, apple, pomegranate, grape, date, and mandarin.

In Bangladesh the cultivation of temperate fruits has been unsuccessful, except for grapes in some places. Oranges are cultivated only in a very limited areas in Sylhet and in remote areas of Rangamati (Sajeek) and Bandarban (Ruma) districts.

Fruit tree Trees that produce edible fruits for human consumption. Human civilization is irrevocably linked with the culture of food plants and fruit trees. The earliest selection and culture of fruit trees seems to be the date palm. The mango has been in cultivation for 6,000 years; it is one of the oldest tropical fruits indigenous to India. The commercial production of fruit trees started at the beginning of the 18th century. Traditionally the fruit trees were cultivated as a backyard crop or as boarder tree to fulfil the requirements of the family. In the beginning of the 19th century, the Christian missionaries and European settlers pioneered the organised culture of fruit orchards in the subcontinent. Since the beginning of the 20th century, a wide variety of major and minor fruit trees are being grown in Bangladesh on a commercial basis. Most of the major fruit trees are evergreen in nature of which mango, jackfruit and coconut occupy almost 90% of the fruit tree culture in Bangladesh. Mango, the most popular fruit tree in the country, has about 3000 varieties both in cultivation and in the wild. The most popular varieties grow in the northern districts of Bangladesh; fruit weight varies from 100-1000g; June-August is the time to harvest. Jackfruit, which originated in the Western Ghats of India and now grows all over the country, is another popular fruit. The large bushy evergreen tree produces composite fruits, perhaps one of the largest fruits (up to 50 kg) in the plant kingdom. June-September is the time to harvest.

Litchi was introduced in India from China in the beginning of the 19th century. A much branched evergreen tree grow well in almost all parts of Bangladesh. But the good quality fruits are grown in Dinajpur, Rajshahi, Jessore and Khulna regions. June and July are the months to harvest. Coconut grows abundantly in the southern and central parts; the average fruit number per plant is 70-80; can be harvested throughout the year. Green coconut is a favourite drink in summer; the endosperm of ripe fruit is mostly used in preparation of sweets. Guava, a semi-deciduous exotic plant from tropical America introduced in the middle of the 18th century, is grown in almost all village groves. About 50 varieties are found all over the country, most of which grow in Chittagong, Comilla, Sylhet and Barisal regions. Fruit weight varies from 20-700g; can be harvested during July-September. Indian Jujube (boroi, kul) is a small fruit-bearing medium-sized deciduous tree; fruits are available in off-seasons; the fruit weight is 10-70 g; can be harvested during February-March.

Of the minor fruit trees the following are very common and popular: Black Plum or Black Berry (kalo jam), a large fruit tree; fruits when ripe are almost black, elongated, marble-sized having seed almost half the size of the fruit; fruit is harvested in July. Sapodilla (sopheda), a medium-sized beautiful evergreen tree with upright dense canopy, introduced from tropical America, is being extensively cultivated in the Faridpur and Dhaka regions. The other common minor fruits are Tamarind (tentul), Palmyra Palm (tal), Monkey Jack (dewa), Indian Olive (jalpai), Carambola or Star fruit (kamranga), Star Apple (jamrul), Mangosteen (kaw), Burmese Grape (latkan), Flacoutia (paniala), Star Gooseberry (arbaroi), Elephant Apple (chalta), River Ebony (gab), Otaheita Apple (bilati amra), Velvet Apple (bilati gab), Wood Apple (kathbel), Indian Apple (bel), Custard Apple (ata), and Indian Goose Berry (amlaki).

Fruit production Different fruits grow in Bangladesh round the year because of favourable climatic conditions. A list of the common fruit trees showing the area of production and yield is given below. 

English name Local name Scientific name Area under production (in 000 ha) Yield (thousand m ton/year)
Banana Kala Musa sapientum 40 630
Jackfruit Kathal Artocarpus heterophyllus 27 265
Mango Am Mangifera indica 50 190
Litchi Lichu Litchi chinensis 5 13
Hog Plum Amra Spondias dulcis -- --
Papaya Papaya Carica papaya 5 41
Coconut Narikel Cocos nucifera -- --
Guava Payara Psidium guajava 10 46
Star Apple Jamrul Syzygium samarengense -- --
Black Berry Kalajam Syzygium cumini   -- --
Orange Kamla Citrus chrysocarpa 0.3 8
Grape Fruit Jambura Citrus grandis 4 11
Indian Apple Bel Aegle marmelos -- 1
Wood Apple Kathbel Feronia limonia -- --
Custard Apple Ata Anona squamosa -- --
Indian Jujube Boroi Zizyphus mauritiana 4 15
Sapodilla Sofeda Manilkara achras -- --
Indian Goose Berry Amloki Phyllanthus embelica -- --
Pomegranate Dalim Puncia granatum -- --
Elephant Apple Chalta Dillenia indica -- --
Carambola Kamranga Averrhoa carambola -- --
Pineapple Anaras Ananas comosus 14 150
Watermelon Tarmuj Cucumis melo 12 100
Lemon Lebu Citrus limon 4 12
Other citrus fruits -- -- 3 8
Source BBS, Yearbook of Agriculture Statistics, 1995, 1997-98

Bangladesh enjoys generally a sub-tropical monsoon climate. There are three distinct seasons. From November to February a cool temperature (12-28 °C) and little or no precipitation prevails. Summer continues from March to May with a little rainfall, with temperatures as high as 40 °C. The monsoon prevails from June to October having high rainfall, humidity and temperatures from 25-35 °C. The average precipitation per year varies among the regions from 1194-3454 mm.

A tropical location, lush greenery, moisture-rich loamy soil and production-friendly climate-all these make Bangladesh one of the notable growers of a vast range of fruits.

More than 60 varieties of fruits are being grown in the country. Major fruits include mango, banana, papaya, jackfruit, pineapple, guava, litchi, pummelo, lemon etc. Banana constitutes over 40 per cent of the total fruit production in the country.

Most of these fruits—perishable in nature with high nutritional value -- are available during the respective season of production. Among these fruits; mango, jackfruit, litchi, banana, papaya, pineapple, watermelon, guava, lemon, star fruit, honeydew etc. are available during the summer season between May and July.

So, it is no surprise that summer in Bangladesh is called season of fruits—specially for mango, jackfruit, lichi and jam (black berry)—the popular crowd favourites. In taste, flavour and texture, scores of most these fruits in Bangladesh are higher than similar fruits in other countries. One needs not to be an expert to feel this difference. Visitors to this country may just taste any of the fruits and judge for themselves.

There are very few industries for processing of fruits in Bangladesh . The annual requirement of fruits in the country is over 60, 00,000 metric tons. But current production is only around 15, 00,000 metric tons, leaving the country highly deficient in fruits production.

According to statistics complied few years ago production of varieties of fruits in the country is as follows: Banana- around 6,40,000 metric ton. Mango-around 1,90,000 metric tons. Pineapple- around 1, 50,000 metric tons. Jackfruit- around 2,70,000 metric tons. Papaya- around 50,000 metric tons. Melon- around 1,10,000 metric tons. Litchi- around 13,000 metric tons. Guava- around 50,000 metric tons. Ber- around 16,000 metric tons. Orange- around1,000 metric tons. Pomelo- around 15,000 metric tons. Lime&Lemon- around 13,000 metric tons. Other fruit- around 22,000 metric tons.

The country is endowed with favourable soil and climate for cultivation of many horticultural crops yet total production far less than enough. One of the reasons for low production, despite vary favourable climatic condition, is the absence of commercial cultivation of fruits. In the rural areas of the country, the farmers in addition to other food and commercial crops are also the growers of fruits.

In addition to better taste, flavour and texture, the fruits of Bangladesh have another attractive plus point—most of these are organic. Amid growing concern about use of chemical fertilizers in growing food crops, fruits and vege-

tables and its possible bad effect on the consumer, Bangladesh fruits can certainly claim to be —all natural.

List of notable fruits, their local and English names and growing seasons are as follows:

1. Aam (Mango)- May-September. 2. Kathal (Jackfruits)- April-October. 3. Lichu (Lychee/Litchee)- June-July. 4. Jam ( Berry )- May-June. 5. Kala (Banana)- All season. 6. Boroi (Berr/Jujubi)- November-February. 7.Ata (Cherimoya)- March-May. 8. Gab (Sharonfruit)-April-June.9. Amra (Golden Apple)- April-October.10. Jambura/Batabilebu (Shaddoc/Pummelo)- April-October.11. Jamrul (Rose Apple) April-October. 12. Kaggji Lebu (Lime)- All seasons. 13. Kamranga (Carambola/Star fruit)- April-October. 14. Lebu (Lemon)- April-October. 15. Safeda (Sapodila/ Sapota/Chico)- April-Octobe. 16. Kul/Boroj (Plum/Jujubi)- November-February. 17. Latka (Longan)- April-October. 18. Amloki(Embica)- July-October. 19. Pani phal (Water chestnut)- April-October. 20. Peara (Gauva)- All season. 21. Jalpai (Olive)- November-February. 22. Sharifa (Atemoya)- August-December. 23. Tal (Mangoesteen/Plam)- April-October. 24. Bel (Wood Apple). 25. Kad Bel. (association) (exporters of bd) (commercial impoter)