If the theft can be stopped, the white rubber will be able to make a huge contribution to the country's budget, experts say
Dubbed as “White Gold,” the rubber yield in Tangail has been three times its usual annual output this year, Manager Mia Tofayel Ahmed said that the bumper harvest in the rubber plantation in Pirgacha upazila was due to good weather and proper care.
The rubber garden was established in February 2, 1986 under guidance of Bangladesh Forest Development Corporation in Modhupur upazila’s Pirgacha on 5.75acres of land.
At present, the rubber field is spread across 2557.5 acres of land. The rubber garden has produced more than 100 metric tons of rubber in the last five years up to the fiscal year 2016-2017.
Target for fiscal year 2011-2012 was 1000 metric tons, out of which 747 was produced.
During the fiscal year 2012-2013, 670 metric was produced against a target of 1150 tons. For the fiscal year 2013-2014, 560 metric tons was produced against a target of 850 tons.
For the fiscal year 2014-2015, 600 metric tons was produced against a target of 680 tons. For the fiscal year 2015-2016, 765 metric tons was produced against a target of 715 tons and for 2016-2017, 886 metric tons was produced against a target of 750 tons.
Once there were a lot of Gojari jungles in Modhupur. The jungles were cleared eventually.
Land grabbers started occupying these lands.
There are 30,70082 trees in an area which is 2km wide and 15km in length. Out of this, 22355 trees do not produce anything.
The rubber garden saw profits even though similar government institutions did not see a lot of it.
Around 587 pitchmill tapers, 75 government workers and employees work in the garden.
The bumper harvest has also led to theft. If the theft can be stopped, the white rubber will be able to make a huge contribution to the country’s budget, experts say.
Rubber is stolen from the garden every day. It is alleged that almost everyone in the plantation is involved in stealing rubber from the garden.
A pitchmill taper deposits 20 to 30 kg of liquid rubber to the factory.
The period from February to March is considered peak and September to January is considered off-peak time.
A worker gets Tk3 for every kg of liquid rubber and Tk6 during off-peak time. They have to work from dawn to afternoon (12pm).
A worker earns Tk70-80 everyday, which is not sufficient for their family.
Abdur Razzak, a former employee of the factory said that he saw rubber being stolen in small trucks at night. Employees and managers of the garden are involved in the theft. If anyone tried to protest such incidents, they lose their job.
Seeking anonymity, a number of workers working in the rubber field said that massive anomalies have occurred in the garden.
Many of the workers’ jobs were lost after the workers’ union was established.
The managers of the garden steal the stipend money meant for the workers.
Talking about the complaint, manager of the rubber garden Mia Tofayel Ahmed said that some of the workers have been fired due to their involvement in the incident.
“There is no boundary around the huge garden. Due to this reason, it is not possible to guard this huge area.
“We cannot prevent other people stealing rubber from the area. No rubber is stolen from the factory,” he further added.