Increasing the price of edible oil has increased the interest of the farmers in mustard cultivation. In the current season, various varieties of mustard including Bari, Bina, Tori and local varieties of mustard have been cultivated in five upazilas of the district. Concerned people hope to yield at least 6 maunds per bigha. This year the yield is better than last year.
But the farmers are worried about the production of mustard in severe winter and fog. Also, the farmers are worried about getting fair price due to the violence of the mustard procurement syndicate. The farmers said that if the fair price is ensured, the production will increase in the future. The agriculture department of the district said that all kinds of support are being given to the farmers including incentives for mustard cultivation. Meanwhile, district agriculture marketing officials said that operations will be conducted against mustard syndicates to control market prices.
According to local sources, mustard farmer Dulal Hossain Khan of Vidyabagis village of Lakshmipur union of Kalkini upazila of Madaripur. This year he has cultivated local variety Dhali mustard on two bigha land. Mules are getting Rs 5,000 to 6,000 per bigha. Although four maunds of mustard are produced per bigha (dry), he is worried about the production this winter as mustard seeds are very small.
However, since the flowers are very good, the honey collection will exceed 1000 tons this year.
Dulal Hossain Khan said, ‘It has been very cold this year with fog. In this my two bigha of mustard seed is very small. not growing up Still I am hopeful that eventually there will be a good yield of mustard’.
Kabir Molla, another mustard farmer of the same village, said, ‘I have cultivated Bari-14 mustard of improved variety in my land. Although there is a little problem in winter, it seems that the production of mustard will be good in the end. Although I am a bit worried because of the cold’.
Rubel Hossain, a resident of Sadar Upazila’s Khwajpur Union, said, ‘I have cultivated local and improved varieties of mustard on three bigha of land this year. No matter what the mustard is, I don’t get a good price in the market. There are syndicates in the market. They are the ones who raise and lower the prices in the market. Today production costs are higher than ever. So if you don’t get a good price in the market, you have to count the loss.
Abul Kalam Khan, another mustard farmer of Sadar Upazila, said, ‘Currently, we are not able to make a profit by cultivating mustard. Due to the syndicate in the market, the price is very low. It costs 3200 to 3300 taka in the current market to produce one grain of our mustard. But due to the syndicate, if I take it to the market, I get the price of 35000 to 36000 taka. It doesn’t bother us much. If the government had disbanded this syndicate, then we farmers would have got a fair price’.
The same is the case with other mustard farmers in Dasar, Rajair and Shibchar upazilas of the district. They say that the production cost of mustard has increased more than before. They are not able to get a fair price due to the syndicate selling mustard in the market. They demanded the government to break the syndicate so that farmers can get fair price of mustard.
Officials of Madaripur Agricultural Extension Department say that they are hopeful that the production of mustard will be good even if it is winter. Various suggestions have been given to the farmers to expand the commercial cultivation of mustard.
Santosh Chandra Chand, Deputy Director of Madaripur Agricultural Extension Department, said, ‘The winter has been quite severe this year. Although some mustard farmers are worried about the yield, I think that there will not be much loss. Farmers are getting better price of mustard than before due to increase in use of desi oil. But I don’t have any information about market syndicate. This matter of market price is looked upon by the agricultural marketing officers. Only they can say better’.
District Agricultural Marketing Officer regarding the control of mustard market syndicate. Babul Hossain said, ‘On the orders of my Deputy Commissioner, all the oil that is already found in Madaripur. I held an exchange meeting with the owners of those oil mills. It has been informed that legal action will be taken against farmers if they do not buy mustard at a fair price in the mustard market.
Madaripur District Commissioner Md. Marufur Rashid Khan said about market control, ‘There will be no syndicate to get fair prices for farmers. If any unscrupulous traders do not pay fair price to syndicate farmers, then legal action will be taken against them. There is no opportunity to cheat the farmers with low prices in Madaripur.’
According to Madaripur Agricultural Extension Directorate, mustard has been planted in 16 thousand 982 hectares of land in the current season. The Department of Agriculture is hoping that 22 thousand 76 metric tons of mustard will be produced.
Anwar Sardar, general secretary of Bangladesh Beekeeping Welfare Foundation, Faridpur region, said, ‘The quality of mustard, coriander and black cumin is very good in the soil of our Faridpur region. Because of this the honey of this region is also of very good quality. We are expecting that 200 metric tons of honey will be collected in Madaripur district this season. And more than 1 thousand tons of honey will be collected from 5 districts of Greater Faridpur, Madaripur, Shariatpur, Gopalganj, Faridpur and Rajbari.