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Date juice business becomes boon for many traders

  • Our Correspondent
  • 7 January, 2022 12:00 AM
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Date juice business becomes boon for many traders

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RAJSHAHI: Date juice trading has become boon for many people here during winter season as it changes lots of juice collectors by making them solvent, bringing smiles on their faces. 

Since the advent of winter season, a large number of date juice extractors began collecting delicious juice from the date trees this year. They are earning money by selling date juice and molasses. 

Date juice and molasses are one of the best delicious food items in winter. So, many people cultivate date trees commercially side by side with other cash crops. 

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.

Every winter, gachhis (date juice extractors) collect date juice, condense the juice by heating it and make date jaggery. Later, they sell the jaggery in Baneswar haat (weekly market) located on the premises of Baneswar union land office and Jholmolia haat in Rajshahi.

Some molasses markets like Baneshwar, Puthia, Jhalmalia, Charghat and Bagha are very famous in the region. Scores of people are engaged in molasses business. 

Mozammel Hossain, 54, an extractor of Salua village under Puthiya Upazila, said he has 170 trees on six and a half bigha land and earns around Taka two lakh every year. 

A date tree gives juice, cooking materials, molasses and other products, he said, adding molasses produced by the farmers in the three upazilas are being exported to many foreign countries, elevating the rural economy.

Abdul Jabbar, another date juice harvester of the same village, said he has no date tree for his own. Every season, he manages to collect juice from 150 trees at a cost of Taka 175 per tree. 

Abdul 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. 

Golam Faruque of Halidagachhi village under Charghat Upazila, a molasses wholesaler at Jhalmalia Hat in Puthiya upazila, said the sale volume of molasses on every hat-day is more than Taka one crore.

Potters are struggling to supply specially designed small earthen pots for collection of juice and big ones for boiling the juice to produce molasses, which are sold in markets all over the country through traders. Golam hoped that the business will play a vital role in changing the socio-economic picture of the whole region if everybody comes forward to plant the trees in fallow lands. 

Trader Anwar Hossain, who comes to Bagha Bazar from Barisal every year to purchase molasses, said that he purchased 40 mounds of molasses at Taka 65 per kilogram. 

Mohsin Ali, a retailer at the same market, said he sold molasses at Taka 75 per kilogram last week and the retail price is now on a downtrend with rising production. 

Abdul Awal, Deputy Director of the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE), said there are more than eight lakh date trees in the district producing around 8,500 tonnes of molasses valued at around Taka 66 crore every season. 

There are also many other date trees on the side of roads, railway tracks and on fallow lands and homesteads while date-molasses are produced commercially here. 

He added that regular in-taking of sugar or molasses with rice and other nutritious foods is very essential for humans, especially children, for brain development.