Bangladesh will import about 3,500 tonnes of high yielding jute seeds from India for the coming season as growers show more enthusiasm to cultivate the “golden fibre” this year.
“A total of 840 seed traders have applied for permission to import Indian jute seed named JRO-524 variety (Tosha) which called as Nabeen seed in that country,” said Moksudur Rahman, deputy director (quarantine) of plant protection department.
The seeds will be imported under private sector initiatives while the government will play the supervisory role, he said.
The national seed committee headed by agriculture secretary will examine the applications filed for importing and will give permission, added Moksudur.
The primary decision is to import 3,500-tonne jute seed produced in Indian states of Maharastra and Andhra Pradesh, but the quantity may increase if the demand rises further, said Anwar Faruque, director general (seed) in the agriculture ministry.
Azharul Islam, deputy director of Bangladesh Agricultural Development Corporation (BADC) seed marketing, said, “We produce sufficient quantities of local variety of jute seed but the tosha variety comes from across the border although a small quantity is produced in Rajshahi, Bogra, and Kushtia”.
During the last season, BADC sold local variety at Tk 110 per kg while the tosha at Tk 150, but this year it may rise to Tk 129 from 110 and Tk170 from 150 respectively, he said.
When contacted, President of Seed Merchant Association, F R Mollik, said they would open LC at the end of this month after having the IP.
According to officials of Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE), jute (both the tosha and local varieties) was cultivated on 7.5 hectares of land last year and the farmers were satisfactorily benefited by selling the fibres at around Tk 2,000 per maund (40 kgs).
“We think the past glory of the golden fibre has come back, as we got unexpected benefit by cultivating it last year,” said Anwar Hossain, a farmer in Tongibari upzila of Munshiganj. He would cultivate jute on more lands this year, said Hossain.