The land needs to be irrigated frequently and as it is impossible to clear out the weeds in this weather, the plants are under constant pest attacks, say farmers
Jute production may be disrupted in Faridpur this year due to the prolonged absence of rainfall and extreme heat, causing severe drought across the district.
Local farmers say soils have cracked and tender jute plants are drying up under the scorching sun.
While irrigating their land with groundwater raised by shallow pumps, farmers worried about the profit from this year’s jute cultivation as production cost has risen each time.
The highest temperature recorded was 40°C in March, said the Faridpur met office.
According to the district Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE), jute was to be cultivated on 86,220 hectares of land this year in nine upazilas of the district. So far, farmers have cultivated 90% of the cultivation target.
Jute farmers Mahananda Biswas, Kali Kumar Biswas and Joydev Biswas, from Tongrail village in Boalmari, said they had never seen such a severe case of drought before.
The land needed to be irrigated frequently and as it was impossible to clear out the weeds in this weather, the plants were under constant pest attacks, they added.
Md Hazrat Ali, deputy director of DAE in the district, said: “There hasn’t been any rain in Faridpur recently. Farmers have planted jute on the land even though it was dry. Many are irrigating jute on land under the scorching hot sun.
“This is increasing the cost for farmers. Even though jute was planted on vast tracts of land, none of it will grow if it does not rain any time soon.”
Ranjit Kumar Ghosh, an agronomist at the Jute Research Institute in Faridpur, said the extreme heat was detrimental to rain-based jute cultivation. “Farmers need to clear out the weeds and irrigate frequently if they want a satisfactory yield.”