RANGPUR: Farmers are happy to get better prices of jute as harvest of the fibre crop is nearing completion in all five districts of Rangpur agriculture region this season.
According to market sources and farmers, the newly harvested jute fibre is being sold at rates between Taka 2,000 to Taka 2,400 per mound (every 40 kg) depending on varieties and quality of the fibre. Officials of the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) said the government had fixed a target of producing 6,89,368 bales of jute from 58,520 hectares of land for the region during the current season.
The DAE, Bangladesh Agriculture Development Corporation (BADC), Bangladesh Jute Research Institute (BJRI) and other organisations provided assistance, training and technologies to the farmers for enhancing jute farming this season.
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.
"So far, farmers have harvested jute on 35,838 hectares of land and produced 4,84,609 bales of the fibre crop at an average yield rate of 13.52 bales per hectare," said Agriculturist Bidhu Bhusan Ray, additional director of the DAE, Rangpur region.
The government provided high yielding varieties of quality jute seeds, training and inputs to the farmers to enable them in expanding cultivation and enhancing production of jute for reviving past glory of the fibre crop.
"However, we are hopeful to achieve the fixed production target of jute for expanded cultivation of its high yielding varieties in the region this year," Ray added.
Senior Coordinator (Agriculture and Environment) of RDRS Bangladesh Agriculturist Mamunur Rashid said a better jute production is likely in the region following excellent growth of tender jute plants amid favourable climatic conditions.
"Declaration of jute as a national agricultural product by the government and mandatory use of jute sacs in various sectors continues increasing demand of the fibre crop making jute farming more profitable for farmers in recent years," Rashid added.
Jute growers Mofizar Rahman, Ariful Haque, Mokhlesur Rahman, Akbar Ali and many others at Badarganj Jute Market in the Rangpur said they are selling the newly harvested jute at rates between Taka 2,100 to Taka 2,500 per mound.