With seed sowing process of jute nearing completion in all five districts of Rangpur agriculture region, cultivation of the crop is going on in full swing.
This season, a target of producing over 6.77 lakh bales (1 bale = 182kg) of jute fibre has been fixed from 58,250 hectares of land in the region, said officials of the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE).
They said farmers already completed sowing seed by Tuesday on 31,274 hectares of land, around 53.70 percent of the fixed cultivation target of the crop.
“Amid favourable climate, farmers are continuing their work and the process [sowing] will go on till the middle of next month,” said Khondker Md Mesbahul Islam, horticulture specialist of DAE, on Wednesday. He was speaking to the news agency at DAE regional office in Rangpur.
The fixed target includes production of 6.42 lakh bales of “Tosha” variety jute fibre from 54,400 hectares of land; 30,192 bales of “Deshi” variety fibre from 3,400 hectares and 3,726 bales of “Mechta” variety from 450 hectares of land.
Md Moniruzzaman, deputy director of DAE (regional office), said jute cultivation became popular again among farmers after the government declared jute as the national agricultural product and made use of jute sacks mandatory in various sectors.
“To make the fixed jute farming target successful, Bangladesh Agriculture Development Corporation, other recommended government and non-government organisations and dealers supplied high quality jute seed to farmers this season,” he said.
Dr Sarwarul Haque, deputy director of DAE, said the present government has taken adequate steps and field level agriculture officials are assisting farmers to make the cultivation process successful.
Talking to the news agency, farmers Manik Mian, Ariful Haque and Azizur Rahman of Badarganj upazila said they had already sowed seed on their land and plants are growing well amid favourable weather.
Farmers Ichchaq Ali, Lokman Hossain, Ivy Begum, Mohsin Ali, Ayub Ali and Abdul Jalil of Sadar upazila’s Mominpur union said they got quality seed on time. They thanked the government for supplying the seed and providing training on latest technologies to ease jute-rotting process amid drought and upgrade fibre quality using ribbon-retting methods.
Agriculturist Dr Md Abdul Mazid, recipient of last year’s Independence Award Medal on food security category, said popularisation of latest farming technologies and jute rotting methods could enhance production of quality fibre and export of the commodity.