RAJSHAHI: Date juice extraction along with its follow-up business including processing has become boon for many people as they are dependent on it for long in terms of improving their living and livelihood condition in the region.
Sweet date juice is a natural and very delicate drink in winter. With the advent of winter, large numbers of date juice extractors begin extracting delicious juice from the date trees every year. Now, they are spending busy time in extracting the juice.
There are many date trees in the fields and roadsides in the region including its vast Barind tract. Local villagers said three upazilas like Charghat, Bagha and Puthiya in the district are famous for date-molasses. Some molasses markets like Baneshwar, Puthia, Jhalmalia, Charghat and Bagha are very famous in the region. Scores of people are engaged in the business related to date.
Mozammel Haque, an extractor of Charghat Upazila, said he has 210 trees on six and half bighas of land and earns around Taka two lakh every year. A date palm tree gives juice, cooking materials, molasses and other by-products, he also said.
He said produced molasses by the farmers in the three upazilas are being exported to many foreign countries escalating the rural economy.
Firoj Ali, another date juice harvester of Gaigirpara village under Puthiya Upazila, said he has no any date tree for his own. Every season, he manages permission of collecting juice of 120 trees of others at a cost of Taka 175. Ali processed around 25 kilograms of molasses from the collected juice every day. He meets his annual family needs with getting profit doing the seasonal molasses business.
Suman Sarker, a molasses wholesaler at Jhalmalia Hat in the same upazila, said sell volume of molasses on every hat-day is more than Taka one crore.