Few things can invoke the feelings of the countryside and a glass of fresh date sap on a misty winter morning is one of them.
Solid molasses produced from date juice are also used for making various mouth-watering pithas (cakes) and other sweets.And Jashore, a southwestern district, is very well-known for molasses due to the presence of numerous date trees in the district.
With the advent of the winter, date sap collectors, locally known as ‘gachhis’, started preparing their trees in different upazilas of the district, including Sharsha.
Sap is extracted from the soft trunk of the top-most part of a date tree. A clay pot is attached to the top of date tree for collecting the sap.
At first, the outer part of a portion of the tree is peeled off on the top to prepare the tree for producing sap.
Jasim Uddin, a gachhi of Goga Kaliani village in Sharsha upazila, told UNB that they have already started the process to collect date sap.
He said it takes time to prepare a tree for the sap production and it costs about Tk 100 to prepare a tree and early preparation brings more profit as the tree gives more sap.“I’ll collect sap from over 300 date trees and all of these are not mine. I borrow trees from others on contract,” he said, expecting to earn over Tk 30,000 from selling sap this winter.
Shahidul Islam of Tebaria village under Dihi union said they are proud that Jashore is traditionally famous for date sap and molasses made from it.
Goutam Kumar Shil, upazila agriculture officer of Sharsha, said sap collectors were preparing the trees and it seems the winter has arrived in right time.
Over 1 lakh date trees are being prepared in Sharsha upazila this year, he said.