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Delwar Kabir, Jhenidah
When the country has been facing severe fodder crisis round the year, farmers in Jhenidah have been producing surplus quantity of the same. The dried straw are sent to some northern markets, while the greens in some southern districts, said the sources related to the livestock department in Jhenidah. Now the napier grass providing cash for the farmers round the year.
Farmer Rabiul Alam of Habibpur village under Sailkupa municipality said they were facing severe crisis of fodder a few years back. The prices of fodders were higher in the market. But now both dried straw and greed fodders are easily available in the market as most of the villages produce green nepier.
Nepier producing farmer JekerAli of the village said he has been producing the green fodder nepier at his lands for the past few years. He has been meeting up the demand of his 12 cattle heads and selling the same in a market. From his 10 bighas of land he earns Taka four lakh every year excluding irrigation and fertilizer prices.
Other neighboring farmers have been cultivating nepair on commercial basis to earn cash in the locality, Jeker Ali said.
Nepier seller Abul Kashem said he purchases th fresh grass in the early morning at Kabirpur intersection in Sailkupa. The farmers loading the grass, rush at his selling point and other parts, sale the same in cash. There is a competition among the nepier producing farmers to change their lot.
Abul Kashem said, the at least 15 spots were developed in Sailkupa town fopr the business where above 100 persons were working as day labourers. Huge rickshaw-van peddlers were also engaged in carrying the same and earning handsome for their families, Abul Kashem said.
According to the source of the district livestock department, the farmers in Jhenidah Sadar, Kaliganj, Kotchandpur, Moheshpur, Sailkupa and Harinakundu have been producing at least 12 lakh tones of dried and green fodder as against the yearly demand for the cattle heads in the district for n11
lakh tones. The additional production is sent to some northern and southern districts as a cash crop, the sources said.
District Livestock Officer (DLO) Dr. Hafizur Rahman when contacted said the farmers of the district are very careful about their cattle heads and fodder. They produce 751,496 tones of straw, 45,990 tones of napier grass, 225,448 tones of rice and paddy dust, 13.778 tones of maize dust, 229,913 tones of lentil dust, 484 tones of khesari dust, 7,379 tones of mungbean dust and 125,453 tones of other fodders round the year.
AS they produce additional 125,453 tones of fodder, they sent the dried straw in Pabna, Rangpur, Bogura, Gaibandha and northern Satkhira district. The green fodderr nepier is sent to neighboring Magura, Jessore, Chuadanga, Meherpur, Kushtia and Bagerhat. The farmers reap cash from the fodder at a regular basis.
The DLO said a number of farmers have leaned towards nepier grass cultivation o their fallow land and huge farmer have been cultivating the same laving paddy, jute and some other crops as they cannot reap csasg from those.
As the grass farming became profitable for the farmers, they have been receiving cash immediately round the year.