Farmers expect bumper Jute production in Khulna zone

Over 4.40 lakh bales of jute are expected to be produced from 38,840 hectares of land in four districts of Khulna Agriculture Zone during the current season.Target had been set to produce 4.34 lakh bales of jute from 38,386 hectares of land in Khulna, Bagerhat, Satkhira and Narail districts, but more 454 hectares of land were brought under jute cultivation. So, additional 6000 bales of jute are now expected to be produced from the additional land.Mohon Kumar Ghosh, Additional Director of the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) of Khulna Zone said the field level officials and farmers are very much hopeful about better jute yield everywhere in the country’s south-western region during this season.Currently, the farmers are seen nursing the growing plants of the golden fiber amid much enthusiasm as they got bumper production and lucrative market price for the last couple of years.Seventy percent of the jute is used in manufacturing the domestic products and the remaining 30 percent of raw jute and jute products are being exported. Yarn, bags, sacks, curtains and carpets are being made from jute. The leaves of jute plant are eaten as vegetable, he said.Besides, jute plant of one hector land absorbs 15 tons carbon dioxide and emits oxygen 11 tons. It also makes the soil fertile.Talking to BSS, Amarendra Biswas, the project Director of GKBSP, a project of experimental cultivation exhibition lands at Gopalganj, Khulna, Bagerhat, Satkhira and Pirojpur, said on Wednesday that jute farmers are getting profit by selling jute.“We are providing fertilizer and seeds free of cost under this project,” he added.According to the officials concerned, around 14 to 15 years back, the farmers lost interest in jute cultivation as they did not get fair prices. But now they are getting fair price, making them more interested in jute cultivation.Jute fiber is being sold at Taka 4,500 to 5,500 per mound at different hats and bazars everywhere in the region creating a hope of getting back in the golden era of the cash crop in near future.Harun-ur-Rashid, 51, a farmer of Kalabogi village under Dakop upazila in Khulna, said market price of jute was Taka 1,600 to 1,800 per mound earlier.Md Sayed Ali, President of Bangladesh Jute Association (BJA), said jute was sold at Taka 1500 to Taka 2000 per mound in the previous seasons.He, however, said increased farming of jute could revive the past glory of the golden fiber, ushering a new era in the economy as well as saving the environment and soil health from further degradation.

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