Jute is a new cash crop for farmers in Faridpur

Once neglected, jute sticks have now become a cash crop as they are exported to different countries including China for its growing demand in particleboard and charcoal factories.

Jute farmers in Faridpur district, who have suffered losses this season due to low lint prices, are now looking to make a profit by selling jute sticks.

Farmers expect to earn more than Tk 130 crore this season from selling jute sticks which were once only used as fuel for earthen ovens, making fences for houses and in fields of walnuts. betel.

Atul Sarkar, Deputy Commissioner of Faridpur District, said: “The carbon is produced after burning dried jute sticks through technology. It is used in the manufacture of firecrackers, carbon papers, ink for printers and photocopiers, batteries for mobile phones, medicines for cleaning teeth, fertilizers and many other things. The demand for jute sticks is therefore increasing.

On a recent visit to different parts of the district including Saltha, Nagarkanda and Boalmari, the UNB correspondent found the farmers busy drying their jute sticks.

A number of jute producers including Firoz Molla, Habibur Rahman and Siraj Pramanik said they now see a ray of hope in jute as they have been making money selling jute sticks for several years and a number of large companies are buying it. of them.

Currently, 100 bundles of jute sticks are being sold at Tk 500-600 compared to Tk 400-500 last year, they said.

Due to the scarcity of rains this season, farmers in the district failed to rot their jute in time, leading to poor production and low prices, they said.

According to the Agricultural Extension Department, this year a total of 87,475 hectares of land has been brought under jute cultivation and they also hope that farmers can sell jute sticks worth Tk 130 crore this season.

Delwar Hossain Sheikh, a jute stick trader from Lonkarchar in Boalmari Upazila, said: “I bought jute sticks worth Tk 1.5 crore to Tk 2 crore and sold them to particle board factories.

“And like me, many traders are doing the same job,” he added.

Ziaul Haque, deputy director of the Agriculture Extension Department, said that jute sticks worth Tk 15,000 lie on one hectare of land and this year farmers can recoup their losses by selling jute sticks. jute.

Nazrul Islam, Chairman of Faridpur Chamber and Industry of Commerce, urged big business to ensure reasonable price of jute sticks to farmers so that they can survive.

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