The target of jute cultivation this year was set at 35,010 hectares in Kushtia. However, the jute yield surpassed that target by 36,250 hectares
Jute cultivation has increased in Kushtia this year. Many farmers are now cultivating jute to make up for paddy losses.
Due to favourable weather conditions, jute production this season has been good, compared to last year.
According to data provided by the district jute inspector's office, the target of jute cultivation this year was set at 35,010 hectares in Kushtia.
However, the jute yield this year has surpassed that target by 36,250 hectares.
Meanwhile, jute has been cultivated in Sadar upazila over an area of 2,250 hectares, in Kumarkhali over 4,675 hectares, 3,740 hectares in Khoksa upazila, 4,545 hectares in Mirpur upazila, 3,890 hectares in Bheramara upazila, and 17,650 hectares in Daulatpur upazila.
This year, the production target of jute has been set at 470,951 bales. Each bale contains 180kg worth of jute.
Mesbahuddin, a jute cultivator of Lalonagar village in Daulatpur upazila, said that he cultivated jute on four bigha (0.5ha) of land this year.
"Jute growth has been very good. But this time, pest infestations have been a little more than other years," he added, "There is also a lot of irrigation required due to the intense heat. This will likely increase our production cost as well."
"If there is not enough water, then there will be problems in processing the jute (fibre)," said Shamsul Pramanik, another farmer of the same village, who is also anxious about the lack of rainfall in the region till date.
"If the jute is cleaned on a clean surface, its value also increases," he revealed.
He also said that about Tk12,000 was spent on cultivating jute on one bigha land. The breakdown of this goes as: Tk900 for farming expenses, Tk350 for jute seeds, Tk1,250 for irrigation, Tk2,000 for cultivation, Tk2,000 for cutting the jute, Tk2,500 for transportation, and Tk3,600 for washing the fibre.
Idris Ali of Fulbaria village in Mirpur upazila said that last year jute yield was good and the farmers got a good price. Due to the favourable weather conditions, a good jute yield is also expected this season.
Selim Hossain, a jute cultivator of Chithlia village in the same upazila, said that some robi rice crops were damaged due to adverse weather conditions.
Apart from that, many farmers are leaning towards jute cultivation because of low paddy prices. And as the farmers got satisfactory prices for jute last season, their interest in cultivating jute has grown.
Selim believes that farmers will be more interested in growing jute if the government supports their initiative.
Nazmul Islam of Barailchara village in Sadar upazila said that now the demand for jute has resumed due to the increase in use of jute bags instead of plastic sacks.
Chief Jute Inspector of Kushtia Sohrab Uddin Biswas said that interest in jute cultivation has increased due to good prices for the fibre.
Besides, favorable weather conditions have ensured good jute production. He also said that within this month, the target of buying jute will be decided officially. Then Bangladesh Jute Mill Corporation (BGMC) will start purchasing jute from a centre in the district.