POST TIME: 24 January, 2020 00:00 00 AM
Commercial farming of cassia leaf benefits Kaliganj farmers
Turmeric, banana may be cultivated in between
Our Correspondent, Jhenidah

Commercial farming of cassia leaf benefits Kaliganj farmers

A cassia leaf orchard with huge leafs at Kadirkole village of Kaliganj upazila in Jhenidah.

Farmers in Kaliganj upazila of Jhenidah have been leaning towards cassia leaf farming commercially, considering the financial benefit of the medicinal, as well as spicy crop, leaving traditional crops. The area of farming has been increasing every year as its production cost is very low, said one of the farmers.

Jainuddin Khan, a farmer of Kadirkole village of Sundarpur-Durgapur, said he purchased 120 pieces of cassia leaf when one of his friends encouraged him to cultivate the least hazardous but more profitable crop 10 years back. Collecting saplings from Bejerdanga of Khulna, he transplanted the same on his 50 decimals of land initially, which has expanded to 123 decimals.

He said the farming requires minimum funds, as it is not affected by major pest or diseases. Some pest might attack during spring, but could be controlled with mild spraying of insecticides once a year. A total of 16 farmers have been cultivating cassia leaf on their 18 bighas of land in the village.

Farmer Abul Kalam Azad said he has been producing cassia leaf on his 35 decimals of land for the last four years and reaping about Tk. 3  lakh twice a year. He spends Tk. 50,000 a year for pesticides and other purposes.

Green leaves are sold at Tk. 40- 45, and dried ones Tk.70-80 per kilogram. Wholesalers procure cassia leaves from farmers’ homes at their own cost. Huge quantities of fertilizers and irrigation are not required for the farming.

He is expecting to expand the area of farming next year, Azad said. Another farmer of the area, Jahid Hossain, expressed the same opinion about profit of the spicy leaves without major risk.

Upazila agriculture officer (UAO), Jahidul Karim, said the area of cassia leaf farming was increasing as farmers were benefiting more from the crop than other regular crops. Further, it might bring additional money for the farmers if someone cultivates banana, turmeric and some other crops as inter-crops on cassia leaf orchards. It will help strengthen the socio-economic condition of the farmers.

Deputy Director of the Department of Agriculture Extension in Jhenidah, Kripangshu Sekhar Biswas, said the soil of Kaliganj and other parts of Jhenidah were suitable for cassia leaf and other spice farming.

The DAE field level officials were engaged in standing by the farmers for technology and other support as and when needed.

As cassia leaf has medicinal and spicy potential, it has occupied the local markets. They (DAE) have been encouraging the farmers to cultivate Ekani and some traditional medicinal crops in their interest, deputy director said.