Ribbon retting fails to attract jute farmers
Ribbon retting, a method for rotting jute plants with less water, remains virtually ineffective as farmers find the new method more costly than the traditional way of rotting jute.
As many as 1500 devices for jute peeling in ribbon retting method have remained unused in Jessore due to farmers' lack of interest have no interest to use the machine for its extra expenses that invented to peel jute fibre and rot it in little water, reports our Jessore correspondent.
The government in 2011 introduced ribbon retting method in different areas of the country to ease peeling of jute fibre, said sources of the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE in Jessore.
Authorities distributed 800 ribbon retting machines in eight upazilas of Jessore in 2011 and 736 machines in 2012.
Farmers were also provided training on its use.
But farmers felt very little interest to use the method for what they said extra cost.
"The government distributed 8 to 12 ribbon retting devices in every union of Jessore district free of cost. But those machines are left in the farmers' houses as they feel no interest to use it due to its extra cost," said Bazlur Rahman, sub-assistant agricultural officer of Noapara union in Jessore Sadar upazila.
Nur Hossain, a farmer of Baganchara–Matpara village under Sharsa upazila in Jessore, who used ribboner last year said, "It needs 24 labourers to peel jute of one bigha of land that costs Tk 6000. It is much more costly than the traditional way of jute peeling. Besides, we get low quality jute stalks if we peel it with using ribbon retting method and our production also reduces by about two maunds in one bigha of land."
Birendranath Majumdar, Jessore Sadar upazila agriculture extension officer, however, claimed that the costs of jute peeling by ribbon retting method and traditional system are almost equal.
Our Lalmonirhat Correspondent reports: Almost all the farmers in the district have continued rotting their jute plants in the traditional way in rivers and other water bodies as 'ribbon retting method for rotting the plants with less water, is yet to gain popularity in the area.
Due to inadequate rainfall this season, rivers and other water bodies in the district do not have enough water and so, large scale jute rotting causes serious water pollution, posing threat to fish and other aquatic creatures.
Ribbon retting method was introduced among the local farmers a couple of years ago in a very limited scale.
This year the DAE took an initiative to re-introduce the system but arrangement for training was inadequate and farmers showed very little interest.
Ribbon retting needs polythene and a big hole in the soil. After separating raw fibre from the jute stalk it is kept in the hole full of water.
“We are not familiar with the system. A few farmers were informed about the new system but they did not show interest,” said Abdul Hossain, a farmer of Mostofi village under Lalmonirhat Sadar upazila.
Krishna Chandra Pal, another farmer of Teesta village in Lalmonirhat Sadar said, “Ribbon retting method seems easy but we took training on it only for a day, which is not sufficient.”
Due to pollution from jute rotting water bodies are turning black and stinky, badly affecting fish production, said Hasmot Ali, Aditmari upazila fishery officer.
This year 9,260 hectares of land were brought under the jute cultivation in five upazilas of Lalmonirhat, DAE sources said.