Bangladesh is expecting better jute production this season despite a shortfall in the farming target, as the plants are growing excellent in northern districts. As farmers have started adopting the latest line sowing jute technology using seeder machines saving huge seed and reducing farming costs and ribbon-retting method to get quality fibre and more profit.
The farmers cultivated jute on over 0.19 million hectares land this season about 13 percent less than the target fixed of bringing over 0.22 million hectares land under cultivation, according to the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE).
Jute farming target could not be achieved this season due to the prolonged drought-like situation that caused lack of soil moisture hampering sowing of jute seed everywhere, crop diversification and some other reasons.
But as per the DAE sources, a target of producing over 2.41 million bales of jute from over 0.22 million hectares of land has been fixed for the current season in the northern region.
Under the programme, the farmers were to produce 2.43 million bales of 'Tosha' variety jute fibre from 0.20 million hectares of land, 0.14 million bales of 'Deshi' variety fibre from 16,836 hectares and 30,228 bales of 'Mechhta' variety jute from 3,664 hectares in the region this year.
However, the farmers have finally cultivated 'Tosha' variety jute on over 0.17 million hectares of land, 'Deshi' variety on 13,635 hectares, 'Mechhta' variety on 4,607 hectares and 'Kenaf' variety jute on 2,275 hectares of land this season.
Horticulture Specialist of the Agriculture Extension (DAE) Khandker Md Mesbahul Islam said that the farmer faced hurdles in sowing jute seed due to drought-like situation though the situation eased following frequent rainfalls from the end of April last.
Another reason for not achieving the fixed cultivation target was comparatively lower market price of jute last season and crop diversification.
To making jute farming interesting so as to do jute farming on more land and to ensure that farmers can get higher price, relevant steps have been taken to evolve mechanized method for easily separating and rotting of jute fibre adopting the latest technologies to ensure better quality of jute.
According to Associate Director Agriculture of BRAC International (South Asia and Africa) Dr M A Mazid, jute farming can get brighter dimension through increasing production and its export, disbursement of government incentives among farmers and by adopting other effective measures.
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