The farmers said every year jute traders would buy a large volume of raw jute from them and sell it to BJMC
Despite bumper production, jute farmers in Magura are in utter despair as the government completely shuttered 25 jute mills under the Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC).
The farmers said every year jute traders would buy a large volume of raw jute from them and sell it to BJMC.
But this year the traders are not interested to buy jute after the shutdown of state owned jute mills.
On top of that, the BJMC owes around Tk 20 crore to jute traders in the district which is yet to be paid, discouraging traders to buy raw jute from the farmers.
According to Magura Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE), a total of 34450 hectares of land were used for jute cultivation with a target of 350,090 bales.
As the weather was favourable, the production might exceed the target.
Farmer Shahid Mridha from Rainagar area of Sreepur upazila said: "I have cultivated jute on two bigha of land. We have got low-interest loans. Besides, We did not need to spend money on irrigation as the rain was sufficient. The yield seems satisfactory.
"But we are worried as the government has shut down 25 state owned jute mills recently.”
"The jute production will be satisfactory as the weather was favourable. Besides, the government has helped us with low-interest loans. But the mills are getting closed one after another and the jute traders are yet to get their dues from BJMC," said another farmer Rahim Uddin from Ramdebpur village.
Tipu Sultan, a jute trader of Magura town, said: “I supplied jute to BJMC and am yet to get the bill of around Tk1 crore. Like me, many traders in the district have not gotten their arrears from the BJMC. So I suspect traders will buy jute from the farmers this time.”
Shafiqur Rahman, executive director of Palli Prokriti ( an agriculture based NGO), said: "The jute production is satisfactory this season. But traders have not yet received their bill from Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation, affecting jute growers immensely.”
Moshiur Rahman, assistant manager of BJMC's Notun Bazar purchase centre, said: “It is true that the BJMC owes bills to jute traders. But we are paying the bills gradually.”
Magura Department of Agricultural Extension Officer Soharab Hossain said: "The production cost has decreased this season as the government provided seeds free of cost and arranged low-interest loans for farmers. But we did not fix the price of raw jute.”