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Low jute price frustrates Munshiganj farmers

  • Published at 05:37 pm September 5th, 2019
web_Munshiganj Jute
Bales of jute being dried on two sides of a bridge in Munshiganj Dhaka Tribune

This year, an average farmer is spending Tk 1,500 to 1,550 on jute production per maund, but they are not able to make any profits from its sale

The cultivation of jute is increasing day by day, but the farmers are frustrated as they did not get a fair price for their produce during the start of the season. 

The farmers have increased the production of jute following the government's attempt to regain the lost glory of jute. However, they are not seeing any light of hope, since they have not been able to even recover their production cost. 

The farmers have cultivated jute on 3,563 hectares of land this season.  

After harvesting potatoes in the Bengali month of Falgun, farmers cultivate jute in the same land.

During the month of Chaitra, they sow jute seeds, and apply fertilisers at the time. After the jute plants mature in the month of Ashar, the farmers harvest jute and rot the jute21   in the water for consecutive days.

After the jute plants are rotten, the fibre is extracted from the stem.

This year, an average farmer is spending Tk 1,500 to 1,550 on jute production per maund, but they are not able to make any profits from its sale.

At this time last year, per maund of jute fibre was sold at Tk 1,800 to 2,200. Later, the price came down to Tk 1,300 to 1,500.

Now, jute is being rot in some places of the district, while in some other places, jute fibre is being extracted. Some are selling the jute in the market. Wholesalers are buying jute from villages.

The farmers said, the price of jute is going low at the start of the selling season. After some days, the price may fall further. As a result, their hard toil is coming of no use. 

Sources at the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) in Munshiganj said, two kinds of jute,local and Tosha, are produced here. Of those, the price of Tosha variety is higher.

It has been mostly cultivated in Sirajdikhan upazila.

Mohabbat Khan, a jute farmer from Balai village of Tangibari upazila, said he had cultivated jute on 10 gonda (0.19 acre) of his own land, lower than 16 gonda last year. "It cost me Tk1,500 per maund in expenses to cultivate jute this season, but wholesalers are not buying them at more than Tk1,500."

Md Shafiqul Hasan, trainee officer at the district's DAE office, said the government does not have any public jute procurement policy, but they are trying their best to expand jute cultivation across the district.

Jute has been cultivated on 1,730 hectares of land in Sirajdikhan, 735 hectares in Tongibari, 508 hectares in Sadar, 320 hectares in Louhajang, 205 hectares in Gazaria and 65 hectares in Sreenagar upazila this year.

Of those, local variety of jute has been cultivated on 1,844 hectares of lands, and Tosha variety on 2,454 hectares of lands.

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