Price of the newly harvested jute in the village-markets and other growth centres is now on the increase making the farmers happy in Rajshahi.
According to the farmers, jute is being sold at Taka 1,500 to 2,100 per mound on the basis of quality at present that encouraged the farmers concerned towards the farming.
Marjidul Sarker, a farmer of Yousufpur village under Charghat Upazila, said he had cultivated jute on two bigha of lands and he sold his harvested jute at Taka 1,500 to Taka 1,600 per mound on an average. Mokbul Hossain, another farmer of Khorda Gobindapur village, is now happy as he reaped better price of his cash crop than that of the previous time.
Alamgir Hossain of Aloknagar village under Bagmara Upazila has become profitable as he got good jute yield from his farm field and expected market price.
He earned Taka 14,400 after selling the jute fibre on Saturday last, he said, adding that he has also jute-sticks which will give some extra money after meeting his family needs.
Many other farmers are passing their busiest days with various field level activities like harvesting, decomposing, fibre segregating, drying and selling. The farming has also generated seasonal employment opportunities for many poor and labour-class people.
“I have started purchasing jute and hopeful about attaining my target as availability of raw jute is satisfactory in the local markets this season,” said Azizul Islam, a jute trader.
Mashiur Rahman, upazila agriculture officer of Durgapur, said the present government has been implementing ‘High Yielding Jute and Jute Seed Production and Improved Jute Decomposing Project’ in 200 jute-growing upazilas under 44 districts for the last couple of years.
Under the project, 350 farmers are being given foundation and certified seeds, chemical fertiliser, insecticides and hand-spray free of cost in addition to imparting training to 50 farmers in each of the upazilas every year
Jute production has been elevated to 20 to 25 mounds per acre at present due to using of modern technology and high yielding seed than that of the previous conventional method yielding hardly 18 to 20 mounds, agriculturist Rahman added. Deb Dulal Dhali, additional director of department of agriculture extension, said target had been set to produce around 1.2 million tonnes of jute from 112,000 hectares of lands in all eight districts under Rajshahi division during the current season. He said jute farming is most cost-effective and eco-friendly as well. One bigha of farming field can yield eight and half mounds in average costing hardly Taka 8,000. Farmers always become happy when they get cherished price.
Kamrul Hassan Jewel, an assistant teacher of Arani Government Monmohini High School, underlined the need for large- scale promotion of jute sacks instead of the polythene ones as effective means of revitalising the lost glory of golden jute. Forging social resistance against use of plastic bags has become an urgent need for protecting the environment from further degradation, he added.
However, Commissioner-in-Charge of Rajshahi division Abdul Mannan said increased farming of jute could revive the past glory of the golden fibre ushering a new era in the economy as well as saving the environment and soil health from further degradation.