Jute harvesting begins, Rangpur farmers expects bumper yield
As the harvesting of jute has already begun, farmers are expecting a bumper production of the fibre crop in all five districts of the Rangpur agriculture region during the current season. Officials of the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) and farmers said tender jute plants grew fabulously amid favourable climate conditions and frequent rainfalls predicting a profuse production of the crop in the region.
Farmers are hoping to get lucrative prices of jute fibre in local markets this year like rewarding prices between Tk 4,000 and Tk 5,000 per maund of the crop last season in the region. However, marketing of newly harvested fibre crop is yet to begin as farmers are now busy in harvesting and rotting of jute plants in water bodies amid frequent rainfalls and also adopting the latest ribbon-retting technologies to ensure better quality of the fibre.
Agriculturist Bidhu Bhusan Ray, Additional Director of the DAE, Rangpur region, said the government had fixed a target of producing 6,89,367 bales of jute from 58,520 hectares of land for the region this season. The target included production of 6,45,936 bales of ‘Tosha’ variety jute fibre from 54,100 hectares of land, 34,928 bales of ‘Deshi’ variety from 3,560 hectares, 2,628 bales of ‘Mechta’ variety from 360 hectares and 5,875 bales of Kenaf variety from 500 hectares of land.
However, farmers have finally cultivated jute on 56,412 hectares of land, less by only 2,108 hectares of land or 3.60 percent against the fixed farming target for the crop. Of them, farmers have cultivated jute on 9,197 hectares of land in Rangpur, 16,460 hectares in Gaibandha, 19,980 hectares in Kurigram, 4,075 hectares in Lalmonirhat and 7,000 hectares of land in Nilphamari districts of the region. To make the jute intensive farming programme successful, the DAE, Bangladesh Agriculture Development Corporation, other agriculture related departments and organisations extended necessary assistance to farmers.
“Besides, the government provided high yielding varieties of quality jute seeds, training and inputs to farmers to enable them in expanding cultivation and enhancing production of jute for reviving past glory of the fibre crop,” Ray said. Farmers have cultivated high yielding varieties of jute on more land area though the fixed target for jute farming marked a little shortfall due to crop diversification and cultivation of Aush rice and maize on more land area. “However, farmers are hopeful to achieve the fixed production target of jute for expanded cultivation of high yielding varieties of the crop in the region this year,” Ray added.
Declaration of jute as a national agricultural product by the government along with mandatory use of jute sacs in various sectors continues increasing demand of jute fibre in local markets alongside ensuring fair price of the produce for farmers in recent years. Senior Coordinator (Agriculture and Environment) of RDRS Bangladesh Agriculturist Mamunur Rashid said an abundant production of the fibre crop is likely in the region following excellent growth of tender jute plants amid favourable climate conditions.
Anwarul Haque, Mahbub Uddin, Ariful Haque, Mofizar Rahman, Mosaddek Hossain and Solaiman Ali of different villages in Rangpur said they have just started harvesting jute plants and are hoping to get a bumper production of the crop.