Farmers have been cultivating tobacco in their lands in four upazilas of Chuadanga district due to getting agricultural materials and cash taka as loan from tobacco related officials.
Moreover it is a profitable crop for the farmers. Agriculture officials are trying to motivate the farmers not to cultivate tobacco.
According to Agriculture Extension Department, a total of 219 hectares of land has been brought under tobacco cultivation this year. Of the total 08 hectares of land are in sadar upazila, 85 hectares of land in Alamdanga upazila, 91 hectares of land in Damurhuda upazila and 35 hectares of land in Damurhuda upazila.
It is learnt, the production target has been fixed 547.5 metric tons of tobacco in the district. About 20 metric ton of tobacco has been estimated to product in sadar upazila, 212.5 metric tons in Alamdanga, 227.5 metric tons in Damurhuda upazila and 87.5 metric tons in Jibannagar upazila.
Though the farmers of the areas are aware about the harmful effect of tobacco on both human health as well as environment its farming is going on by some farmers in the district.
Farmers said, many tobacco related officials motivated some farmers to cultivate tobacco on their lands by providing loans, fertilizers and seeds.
Some tobacco companies give the farmers money in advance and also purchase the produce directly from them which the farmers eager in cultivating it, it is alleged.
The sources added, the tobacco is germinated in beds and then transplanted to the field until it matures. It is grown in warm climates with rich and well-drained soil.
Farmers transplant saplings in the month of Ashshin-Kartik and collect leaf from tobacco plants in the month of Magh-Falgun.
It is learnt, furnaces have been set up in farmers’ homes and locality. Farmers as well as all members of the family have been collecting tobacco leafs from their fields and burning tobacco leaves for preparing yellow color through hot temperature using fire wood in ventilate less furnaces.
Motiar Rahman, son of Atahar Ali, inhabitant of Jehala village and former member of Jehala union council in Alamdanga upazila of the district said, production cost of tobacco has been estimated at tk. from 55,000 to 60,000 per bigha whereas the produced tobacco from the land are sold between tk. 80,000 and tk. 90,000. The profit has been calculated between tk. 25,000 and 30,000 from the same land.
He also stated, he has cultivated tobacco on 3 bighas of land at the village in the upazila this season.
Mostafizur Rahman, sub-assistant agriculture officer of sadar upazila told Bangladesh Post, I along with officials of agriculture department are making awareness the farmers about harmful impact of tobacco products.
Bevash Chandra Saha, Deputy Director of Agriculture Extension Department said, some farmers are cultivating tobacco in the areas. We are trying to motivate them not to cultivate it, because this product is harmful for the health and no benefit.