Tobacco cultivation is not decreasing in Kushtia: Tobacco cultivation is declining in Kushtia. Despite the risk of life in the temptation of various tobacco companies, farmers are becoming interested in tobacco cultivation. As a result, the fertility of the land is being lost due to tobacco cultivation and crop cultivation is declining.
Only tobacco fields in the croplands of Mirpur, Bheramara, and Daulatpur Upazilas of the district. However, knowing the risk, the farmers have been busy taking care of it since morning.
Cropland is being destroyed day by day due to excessive use of fertilizers. The marginal farmers are getting rid of tobacco by the tempting offer of the tobacco companies of the district. And the beneficiaries are the tobacco companies and the local influential people.
According to environmental experts, food security in the district will be threatened if tobacco cultivation is not stopped. And the Department of Agriculture says farmers are being encouraged to cultivate other crops to discourage tobacco cultivation. Tobacco cultivation in Kushtia has started to decline gradually.
Tobacco growers said that representatives of different companies have been helping us since the beginning of tobacco cultivation. Provides a variety of ingredients starting from fertilizers and seeds and also guarantees good prices. Moreover, it makes cards separately for the target. As a result, farmers are encouraged to cultivate tobacco. There is no problem in selling.
Farmer Sirajul Islam said that the use of extra fertilizer in tobacco cultivation gives good yield. Various companies including British American Tobacco Bangladesh (BATB) help the farmers. Again, there is no problem in selling. However, if the planting of tomatoes or vegetables is more, the market is not under control. Or the price is not available because there is no storage system. So if there is no good market management and the interests of the farmers are not protected, the farmers will not be interested in cultivating other crops. Representatives of civil society said that tobacco cultivation was not declining as tobacco companies were supplying tobacco cultivation materials to farmers and selling tobacco in cash. The people of the company come home and give all the benefits of fertilizer seeds. Farmers get more money by planting tobacco.
Environmental expert Gautam Kumar Roy said that tobacco cultivation would endanger food security, public health, and the environment. The children are not being educated. Girls and children have been infected. Deforestation is causing air pollution.
Mir Abdur Razzak, a member of the District Tobacco Control Implementation Taskforce Committee and executive director of SAF, said, It also takes women to burn and process tobacco after breaking it. Many times pregnant women are also disabled as a result of these activities.
He further said, ‘Most of the tobacco cultivation in the district is in Mirpur and Daulatpur Upazilas. And the most disabled people are born in these two Upazilas. In fact, no one in the district has accurate information on the amount of tobacco grown. However, the agriculture office only provides fictitious information.
Meanwhile, Shyamal Kumar Biswas, Deputy Director, Kushtia Agriculture Extension Department, said, “Tobacco has been cultivated in 10,220 hectares of land in six Upazilas of Kushtia this season. Of these, tobacco has been cultivated in 25 hectares in Sadar Upazila, 2 hectares in Khoksa Upazila, one hectare in Kumrakhali Upazila, 5,732 hectares in Mirpur Upazila, 610 hectares in Bheramara Upazila, and 3,750 hectares in Daulatpur Upazila.