BABUGANJ: With the advent of winter, the date palm trees at Babuganj Upazila in Barishal are being shaped to collect sap.
More than 100 gachhis—an occupational group engaged in extraction of juice are now passing a busy time to prepare the trees.The trees are at Chandpasha, Rahmatpur, Kedarpur, Dehergati, Jahangirnagar and Madabpasha of the upazila.
The sweet juice along with molasses and sold jiggery will be available there just after 10 to 12 days.
Mannan Sarder, a gachhi of Bakshirchar village of Chandpasha, said that he had prepared 56 date palms.
The trees will be suitable to drop sap within 10 to 12 days, he added.
Shamal Chandra, a gachhi of Rajkar village, said that he shaped 67 trees.
The inhabitants of the areas have said that the date palm trees are decreasing day by day.The fault extraction system, untrained gachhis and river erosion are mainly blamed for the gradual extinction of the trees.
The huge demand for juice may not be possible to be met for the less number of trees.
Anisur Rahman Sabuj, chairman of Chandpasha Union Parishad, said that the date trees are lessening due to carelessness of a number of gachhis.
Faruk Negaban, an inhabitant of Char Bhuterdia village of Kedarpur, said the date palms were decreasing due to river erosion every year.
Besides, people are cutting the trees for firewood and wooden post for making houses; thus the trees are decreasing.
Motahar Hossain, an inhabitant of Rahimganj village at Jahangirnagar, told the daily sun that the price of molasses might be almost double this year as the materials of shaping trees, producing molasses and others have increased to a large extent.
Marium Begum, agriculture officer of Babuganj Upazila, said they were inspiring people of the area to plant date palms for producing much more sap.
Faisal Ahmed, executive director of Panchayet Agro, said he planted 200 date palms in the company gardens last year.
He has urged all to follow him to save the date palms from gradually extinction.