Since cotton yields are better than other crops and prices are high, farmers are increasingly interested in cotton cultivation every year. Under the guidance of the Cotton Development Board, farmers have started cultivation of hybrid and advanced varieties of cotton cultivation on the infertile lands of the riverbed. Cotton cultivation is less costly than other crops and yields are very good and even better to sell at higher prices. So cotton cultivation is increasing every year on the banks of the river Brahmaputra.
The main raw material in textiles is cotton. Current demand of cotton in the country is about 40 lakh bales per year. To meet the demand of this cotton, the vast majority of cotton is imported from abroad. If cotton cultivation in the country is increased, production of cotton will increase gradually. As a result, cotton imports from abroad will be reduced. Country’s foreign currency will be saved.
There are two types of cottons are being cultivated in the country. The annual demand of the spinning mills in flat and hill valleys is roughly 42 million bales of fiber. Such quantity of cotton is imported from outside the country. It is possible to meet around 30 percent of local demand by cultivating cotton in two to two and half hectares of land. Whose estimated value is 9 to 10 thousand crore taka.
Talking to the concerned officials, there is a lot of employment for many people, from the creation of seeds to cotton production, seedling of seeds, jining, intensive marketing, oil production and refining from the cottonseed industry. The women farmers get the working opportunity to do more in this crop.
Apart from cotton seeds, edible oils and oil waste are available as a by-product. Cotton-oil-waste is used as a food for livestock and fish. Dry cotton trees can be used as paper pulp making, particle pulp making and coal. Growth of cotton cultivation is much more positive for the Bangladesh.
It is difficult to cultivate rice in dry land of the Jamuna and the Brahmaputra rivers. There is not much profit seen in the crops like sugarcane, jute, mustard seeds and other crops. Farmers are looking at profits by cultivating cotton in almost non-irrigated land. As a result, the cultivators of the terrain are gradually leaning towards cotton cultivation. There is more than 3,000 hectares of fallen land lying in the Jamalpur district. If the government allocates the land riverbed areas to cotton cultivators, farmers will be more likely to cultivate the oven. Besides, working in cotton fields, the poor women workers of the village are watching hope of living hood.
Lokukan Hakim, a cotton farmer from Naavanga Char in Sadar upazila of Jamalpur, said that getting no benefit by cultivating sugarcane, jute and other crops, he started cotton cultivation a decade ago. Since then, he did not have to face losses. This year he also cultivated hybrid varieties of cotton in 7 bighas of land. It costs around Tk 7,000 per bigha land. And he can sell cotton in the about 20-25 thousand taka from per bigha.
Farmer of the same area, Abdul Majid said that he had to spend 15 thousand taka for cultivating cotton in two bighas of land. There he is hoping to sell cotton worth 30 thousand taka.
Borhan Uddin said, the cost of cotton cultivation is less than other crops. And cotton prices are determined by Cotton Development Board, so farmers can benefit from cotton cultivation.
Farmer Abdul Karim said, other crops have various risks including natural disasters. Cotton cultivation does not have to take any major risk. As a result, in slightly cost the profit is higher. So the farmers are being encouraged for cotton cultivation day by day.
In Jamalpur district this year, CB 12, CB-14, CB Hybrid-1, Rupali-1 and DM3 variety cotton have been cultivated in 225 hectares of land. Last year, cotton was cultivated in 217 hectares of land. The Cotton Development Board officials are hoping that the farmers will be quite benefited because of the good prices. This year, Cotton board has fixed the cotton price at Tk 2,500 pre mount. To cultivate cotton, the average cost of the farmers is 6 to 8 thousand taka per bigha. And yielding cotton yield is available from 8 to 16 mounts.
Jamalpur District Cotton Development Officer Mohammad Salauddin said, Cotton Development Board provides all kinds of assistance to the farmers till the market starts from cotton cultivation. Cotton production has been good due to the favorable weather conditions this year. As expected, cotton farmers will be benefited quite a bit because of the costly prices. If the uncultivated land of Jamalpur is brought under cotton cultivation then the cultivation of cotton will increase as well as cultivating cotton can also be beneficial to the farmers.