From the very beginning of cultivation Betel leaf is cultivated in Bangladesh. As a tradition of regular habit a large number of people chew betel leaf. As the daily life of people betel leaf and betel nut have possessed a special place in our literature, song, society and culture. Betel leaf is the courier of social harmony. It is in conceivable to have any social function without serving particularly in rural Bangladesh where 80% of the population lives. It is also consumed in India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, Srilanka and Kenya. As a matter of fact betel leaf can be found in many homesteads of almost all South-East and South Asian countries. Further with the recent disperse of the people of the sub-continent of Middle East, African and Europe, many people of these countries have learnt to take betel leaf .in fact, it is gaining popularity in those countries. Betel leaf is also treated as an spelious goods. In Bangladesh, leaves of Betel leaf which are generally consumed are generally known as ‘pan’ but in sankrit it is called ‘balli’, ‘tamboli’, ‘wagini’ or ‘nagbollori’. Betel leaf is also recognized as one of the component in the field of medicine. It boosts up energy, helps digestion and acts as a carminative. It has the property of antacid, carminative and tranquilizer. When chewed it removed bad smell of the mouth and attractive red color to lips of women0 Betel leaf plays an important role in national economy. Betel leaf can fulfill the demand of country and foreign currency is earned through betel leaf.
DISTRICTS OF BETEL LEAF CULTIVATION
Betel leaf is cultivated in 53 districts of Bangladesh. many districts of Bangladesh are famous for Betel leaf production. Among them Cox’s Bazar, Chittagong, Greater Khulna, Greater Barisal, Greater Faridpur, Greater Rajshahi, Greater Jessore and Sylhet district are remarkable. The Betel leaf cultivation districts are Cox’s Bazar, Chittagong, Rangamati, Bandarban, Khangrachari. Noakhali, Feni, Laxmipur, Comilla, Brahamanbaria, Chandpur, Sylhet, Moulavibazar, Hobigonj, Mymensingh, Netrakona, Jamalpur, Sherpur, Kishorgonj, Munshiganj, Madaripur, Shariatpur, Bagerhat, Firojpur, Jhalkati, Barisal, Patuakhali, Barguna, Panchegar, Rangpur, Lalmonirhat, Chapainawabgonj, Kustia, Rajshahi etc.
In Bangladesh pan is cultivated through out length and breadth of the country which includes hill slopes, valleys, char land, homesteads and all kind of lands. The land under Pan Boroj is around 33000 acres and the production of Betel leaves is 65000 tons.
TYPES OF BETEL LEAF CULTIVATED IN BANGLADESH
‘Chaltagota’ amd ‘Mohanali’ are the predominant cultivars of PAN in Barisal district. The ‘Meetha pan ‘is cultivated in Chittagong and reputed in trade for its characteristic taste. ‘Sanchi pan’ is cultivated in Rajshahi, which is famous for its characteristic taste and flavor. ‘Gas pan’ is the only cultivar grown both in hill slopes and valleys of Ukhia and Teknaf. The name is misleading since it is grown in Boroj. ‘Bangla pan’ is also grown in Rajshahi district and have extensive market and less susceptible diseases. The ‘Bangla jhalpan’ which is consider higher tollerence to pest and diseases grown in Narail district. ‘Misti pan’ grows in Jessore district. ‘Shalpan’ is the only Betel leaf cultivars of Bagerhat.
PRODUCTION TECHNOLOGY OF BETEL LEAF
A well drained high land is selected preferably near the source of water for betel leaf cultivation. If available, Organic matter rich soil is added to the field 5-15 cm high. The soil is then well pulverized and the field is divided for convenience of works into several blocks called ‘Kanda’. About one meter space is called ‘Kanaj’ 10-15 cm wide and 5-10 cm high beds are then prepared at 60-75 cm apart. These planting beds are called ‘Miri’. The space left in between two adjacent ‘Miri’ is called ‘Pili’. So, cultivation of betel leaf...