Jute farmers get a boost | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, July 02, 2010 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, July 02, 2010

Jute farmers get a boost

15 lakh to get cash assistance, jute-rotting machines

Fifteen lakh jute farmers in the country will get Tk 200 each and training on ribbon retting, a method of rotting jute plants in small amount of water, Agriculture Minister Matia Chowdhury announced yesterday.
Traditionally, farmers remove fibre after rotting jute plants in water for two to three weeks, but they have been facing problems in doing so in the recent years due to shortage of water in canals and marshes.
Ribbon retting requires the farmers to extract the fibre first and then keep that in water pots for rotting.
Alongside payment of cash starting next week, every 100 farmers would be provided with a ribbon retting machine, Matia said at a press conference at her ministry.
Agriculture officials will locally train farmers on the new method.
"This technology will help improve quality of the fibre," the minister said. The first such move aims to promote the green fibre as the use of jute products is increasing due to growing awareness about environment worldwide, she added.
The programme involving Tk 37 crore will cover farmers in 28 jute producing districts including Faridpur, Madaripur, Gopalganj, Rajshahi, Naogaon, Sirajganj, Mymensingh, Rangpur, Gaibandha, Dinajpur and Tangail, the minister said.
Meanwhile, the move comes when jute growers are already getting higher prices due to the rise in demand for jute both in the domestic and global markets.
Export earning from jute goods during July-April period of fiscal 2009-10 stood at $377.09 million compared to $222.05 million during the corresponding period of 2008-09, says Export Promotion Bureau (EPB).
According to the agriculture ministry, farmers cultivated jute on eight lakh hectares this season compared to 4.8 lakh hectares last season.
The government expects production of 83 lakh bales of jute this season, which is around 30 lakh bales more than that last season.
Matia Chowdhury said efforts are on to open the closed jute mills including Adamjee Jute Mills.
"The glory of the golden fibre has faded due to various conspiracies…We want to bring back the glory," she said.

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