MANIKGANJ: Harvesting of jute in the current season is progressing fast in all seven upazilas of the district.
Farmers are not anxious about rot as there are adequate water bodies, canals and ditches nearby jute fields.Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) sources said a total of 3,750 hectares of land were used for cultivation in the district, exceeding the main target.
Deputy Director of Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) Md Shahjahan Ali Bishwas said necessary steps were taken to ensure supply of adequate quantity of seeds, fertilisers, insecticides and other agricultural inputs among the growers in due time. The cultivators were also given necessary training on the cultivation.
The farmers of the area are interested in cultivating jute as it was still the main cash crop of the area.
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 district.
Farmers are hoping to get lucrative prices of jute fibre in local markets this year like rewarding prices between Taka 4,100 and Taka 5,000 per maund of the crop last season in the region.
However, marketing of newly harvested cash 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.A total of 3,750 hectares of land were brought under Jute cultivation in all seven upazilas of the district with a production target of 43,588 bales during the current season.
Of those, 3,200 hectares were brought under Tosha variety of jute with a production target of 38,400 bales, 500 hectares under local variety with a production target of 4,749 bales and 50 hectares under Kenaf variety with a yield target of 439 bales.
Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) sources said cultivation of jute has been increasing every year as growers are getting fair price of their products, adding that the cultivation of Jute has already been completed in the district.
Kamruzzaman (52), a farmer of Charigram village under Singair upazila, said “We are interested in cultivating jute because it gives us cash money during the lean period.
Sticks of jute are also used for different household purposes including fencing and cooking.
Md Kamaluddin, 40, of village Goaldangi under Ghior upazila, said, “I have cultivated jute on two bighas of land this year and it is growing well. I am expecting good production and waiting to get cash money selling jute to repay my bank loan.”
Md Shahjahan Ali Biswas, DD of DAE, said the jute cultivators are interested in jute cultivation as they get good prices of their products and they are getting all kinds of support from the government including quality seeds and fertilizers.
The field level officials also give necessary advice to the farmers on modern cultivation systems and rotting the fibers in case of shortage of rainy season water.
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 cash crop,” he 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,” he added.
Declaration of jute as a national agricultural product by the government along with mandatory use of jute sacks in various sectors continues increasing demand of jute fibre in local markets alongside ensuring fair price of the produce for farmers in recent years.
Jahid Hossain, Kabir Uddin, Akhil Barman, Masud Rana, and Zahirul Islam of different villages in Manikganj district said they have just started harvesting jute plants and are hoping to get a bumper production of the crop.