Bumper cotton production likely in Kushtia

http://www.bssnews.net/newsDetails.php?cat=0&id=210172&date=2010-03-18

Bumper cotton production likely in Kushtia

KUSHTIA, Nov 4 (BSS)-The farmers of Kushtia district are expecting a bumper production of cotton this year, as they opted for this fiber leaving aside their longtime practice of tobacco farming.

Over 10,000 cotton farmers, who say ‘good bye’ to tobacco cultivation in Kushtia zone, are counting days to harvest cotton and expecting to see the huge cotton output, thanks to the government’s move to replace cotton instead of health hazard tobacco cultivation.

“Many farmers and even entrepreneurs too are now increasingly interested in cultivating the environment-friendly cotton on their lands due to high economic return,” Dewan M Intajul Islam, executive director of Cotton Development Board (CDB), told BSS.

Earlier, the government declared that 20,000 hectares of land out of the total 43,000 hectares under tobacco cultivation, would be replaced by cotton in the next five years.

As many as 7,053 hectares of land in Kushtia have been brought under cotton cultivation dividing the zone into 33 units.

Citing multifarious features of cotton, Islam said such cultivation is health-friendly, economically viable and suitable to enriching the lands.

He said maximum cost of hybrid cotton cultivation on one bigha of land would be Taka 8,000 to 10,000 for producing 12 to14 maund of cotton while each maund would earn Taka 27,000.

The increase in cotton production would have a positive impact on the country’s economy as it imports cotton worth over thousands crore of Taka every year for the textile industries, the CDB chief said adding the country has the potential to meet a big portion of demand.

Vast areas at Bilgathua village of Pragpur union under Doulatpur upazila could be seen under cotton cultivation now.

A beamed Halmat Ali, who was spraying insecticide on cotton cultivated land said, “We are getting ready to harvest cotton right within few days.”

Golam Mostafa, an entrepreneur who went on retirement as police super of late, said he want to spend his rest of the life with cultivating cotton. “I am expecting high return on cotton cultivation on 30 bigha of lands,” he said.

Ismail Hossain, Rafiqul Islam, Amirul Islam, Golam Sarwar Kalu, Saduk Jaman are among the many farmers who have brought huge areas of lands under cotton cultivation.

Bangladesh is largely dependent on the import of cotton as production in the country accounts for hardly three per cent of demand. Cotton is being imported from the USA, India, Uzbekistan, Pakistan and some African countries.

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