Bablu Company, a self-educated vegetable grower from Kushtia, has continued to amaze everyone with his innovations using grafting techniques. He has been cultivating two types of crops on the same plant for over a decade.
Now in his late forties, the passionate farmer grows tomatoes on brinjal and potato plants commercially and has earned huge profits. Through grafting, a vegetative propagation technique, he also successfully grew several brinjal varieties on a single brinjal plant.
Apart from farming, he can make organic fertilizer from banana plants, pesticides from neem and custard apples and extract jute-like fibres from okra or ladies finger plants. He has utilized every inch by planting maize on the ridges around the crop field.
Despite having no formal education, Bablu Company is now recognized as an inventor because of his exceptional talent. He has no match for new inventions in the area.
His name and fame have increased significantly over the years when he bagged several awards and participated in a prestigious innovation fair in Dhaka.
How it started
Better known as Bablu Company, Bablu Sardar of Chhatian Malithapara village under Chhatian Union of Mirpur Upazila started vegetable farming with cauliflower cultivation on a one-bigha plot of land in 2000.
He leased the land from a resident of the same village for Tk4,000 and made profits. The following year, he leased a two-bigha plot of land from another villager.
“This time, I grew brinjal, gourd and cabbage. After that, I expanded my farming,” he said.
By the end of 2011, he had created a jute-like fibre from okra plants and received a huge response. In 2012, he participated in an innovation fair for the self-educated in the capital.
The magic of grafting
In those years, Bablu Company conducted experiments and went for commercial production of mixed crops, which proved profitable.
“It started about nine years ago. I began tomato cultivation experimentally by transplanting eggplants. The cultivation of brinjal and tomato on the same planthas been a huge success almost every year since then,” he told the Dhaka Tribune.
Last year, he started cultivating tomatoes on potato plants through grafting and got a good yield.
“This year, I have grown tomatoes in the same manner and hope to get a good yield. Apart from this, I have planted early corn in the field aisles. As a result of which, I am profiting,” he said.
Talking about his brinjal-tomato experiment, Bablu Company said: “First, I cultivated brinjal on four bighas and tomato on 10 katha land. To plant tomatoes on brinjal plants, I grafted tomato stems on ten brinjal plants. After a few days, I was surprised to see that the tomato tips were not dead. They were also growing like brinjal tips.
“One month after the grafting, I saw the tomato stems growing on the eggplant plants. I got about 3kg of tomatoes from each brinjal plant.
“Last year, I started cultivating tomatoes on potato plants following the same method. And I am getting good yield here too.”
Son of a Freedom Fighter, Bablu said he wishes to continue his efforts to invent new variations in vegetable farming and win the national award someday.
Local journalist Humayun Kabir Himu said Bablu Company is a self-educated but successful vegetable farmer. “For a long time, Bablu has successfully grown one vegetable after another.”
Mirpur Upazila Nirbahi Officer Md Haroon-or-Rashid stated: “We have seen the efforts made by Babul Company.
“The innovative entrepreneurs in the agricultural sector should assess the commercial viability of such farming and spread the techniques across the country if found profitable.”