Bedana litchi is juicy and larger in size than other litchi varieties available in the country. Though the farming of this variety is available in some other parts, the variety grown in the soil of Dinajpur has a special aroma, taste and sweetness.
Consequently, Bedana litchi and Kataribhog rice have become the brand of Dinajpur.
Not only as a brand, the price of this litchi variety is higher too than other varieties. Despite the higher prices, they have a special appeal to its consumers.
Touhidul Iqbal, deputy director of Department of Agriculture Extension, Dinajpur, talked of different specialties of Bedana litchi.
"In this season, litchi was planted in about 6,500 hectares of land in Dinajpur district. And the production is around 35 thousand tonnes. Several types of litchis including Madraji, Bombay, Bedana, China Three, Kathali, Haria are cultivated in Dinajpur," he informed.
Bedana litchi is cultivated in very small tracts of land. Out of the total cultivable land, it is cultivated in only 10 per cent of land, while China Three variety occupies 20 per cent, he added.
"Higher prices of Bedana litchi is compensated by its high quality. It needs special types of soil for cultivating the Bedana litchi variety. Thereby, the variety is considered as a specialty of Dinajpur," said the agro official.
Alongside the Kataribhog rice, Bedana litchi is another brand for Dinajpur and it has high demands in the market, added Iqbal.
Professor Maruf Ahmed of Food Processing and Preservation at Dinajpur Hajee Mohammad Danesh University of Science and Technology said that they have determined the nutritional value of Bedana litchi.
"In per 100 grams, this litchi variety contains 32-41 mg of sugar, vitamin C is 24-48 mg, total fennel is 699-1212 micrograms, total flavonoids are 207-631 micrograms, acidity is 0.71-0.84 percent and pH is 4.34-4.83," he said.
However, the amount varies with litchi varieties.
"We have found these only in the Bedana variety, and we are yet to find the features in other varieties. Research on other litchi varieties including Bedana litchi is underway," he added.
They completed research on the production of Bedana litchi. In future, they will do research on the other litchi varieties to know more about the nutritional values, quality and others, he further said.
Pradeep Kumar Guha, deputy director of Dinajpur Horticulture Centre, said that the target of litchi business in this season was set at Tk400 -Tk425 crore.
Since the price is a bit higher, the business would be around Tk440 crore, he said adding, "of this, the business of Bedana litchi variety will be around Tk65 crore."
"This litchi variety is sold at a higher price than other varieties for its increased demand and larger size. However, Bombay litchi variety is better for commercial cultivation," he added.
Hundred pieces of Bedana litchi variety were sold between Tk400-500 in this season. But the price was Tk250–Tk350 for 100 pieces in the past two years, Pradip Kumar Guha said.
"The sweetness and quality of litchi depends on soil condition. The Madraji variety is a bit sour. And they were sold at Tk150- 250 for 100 pieces in this season," said the horticulture official.
Another variety of litchi named Bari-4 has arrived in the market. Though the sizes are smaller, they will be like the Bedana variety in all respects, he informed.