Farmers are expecting a bumper production of jute during this season as harvesting of the fibre crop will begin soon in all five districts of Rangpur agriculture region.
Officials of the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) said jute plants are growing fabulously amid favourable climatic conditions and frequent rainfalls predicting a bountiful production of the crop.
Farmers are also hoping to get rewarding prices of jute fibre in local markets this year like pleasing prices between Taka 4,000 and Taka 5,000 per mound of the crop last season.
Meanwhile, farmers are now taking preprrations for harvesting and rotting of jute plants in water bodies amid frequent rainfalls and also adopting latest ribbon-retting technology to ensure better quality of the fibre for high price.
Additional Director of DAE for Rangpur region Agriculturist Md. Emdad Hossain Sheikh said a target of producing 6,77,619 bales of jute was fixed from 58,124 hectares of land for the region this season.
The target includes production of 6,35,208 bales of 'Tosha' variety jute fibre from 53,690 hectares of land, 33,863s of 'Deshi' variety from 3,574ctares, 2,555 bales of 'Mechta' variety from 350 hectares and 5,993 bales of Kenaf variety from 510 hectares of land.
"However, farmers have finally cultivated jute on 51,627 hectares of land, less by 6,497 hectares of land or 11.18 percent against the fixed farming target for the crop.
Farmers have cultivated jute on 9,255 hectares of land in Rangpur, 15,000 hectares in Gaibandha, 16,577 hectares in Kurigram, 4,085 hectares in Lalmonirhat and 6,710 hectares of land in Nilphamari districts of the region.
The DAE, Bangladesh Agriculture Development Corporation, other agriculture related departments and organizations extended necessary assistance to farmers to make the jute intensive farming programme a success.
"The government also provided high yielding varieties of quality jute seeds, training and inputs to farmers to enable them in expanding farming to increase production of jute for reviving past glory of the fibre crop," Agriculturist Hossain said.
Farmers have cultivated high yielding varieties of jute on more land area though the fixed target for jute farming marked a little shortfall due to crop diversification and cultivation of Aush rice and maize on more land area.
"However, farmers are hopeful to achieve the fixed production target of jute for expanded cultivation of high yielding varieties of the crop in the region this year," Agriculturist Hossain added.
Deputy Director of the DAE for Rangpur Agriculturist Md. Obaidur Rahman Mandal said an abundant production of jute is expected following superb growth of jute plants amid favourable climatic conditions this season.
"Declaration of jute as a national agricultural product along with mandatory use of jute sacs in different sectors continues increasing demand for the fibre ensuring its fair price," he added.
Farmers Lokman Hakim, Basir Uddin, Mohammad Ali and Ariful Haque of different villages in Rangpur said they are preparing to start harvesting their cultivated jute crop from the second week of the next month and hoping to get an excellent output.