LALMONIRHAT, Feb 7 : Many fresh areas at different villages in Lalmonirhat district are swamped with tobacco cultivation this year as the farmers were encouraged and tempted with eye-catching offers by the tobacco companies.
Farmers find tobacco cultivation more profitable than that of other crops. In addition, Tobacco companies are also providing interest free loan to farmers those who can't afford the expenditures .
At least nine tobacco companies including five big companies have been playing a big role to motivate people for tobacco farming going in the field level of the district.
Sazzadur Rahman, a farmer of Baninagar village under Kaliganj upazila said he has cultivated tobacco on six bighas of his lands for the first time this year, as he gets interest free loan to maintain the cultivation expenditure from a tobacco company. He also added "I have got tobacco seed and fertiliser support in free of cost from the company and tobacco company has assured to buy tobacco from me at expected price".
"Many farmers at Rudrshwar village of Kaliganj upazila have cultivated tobacco in their lands first time this year as the tobacco company provides interest free loan," said Mofazul Islam, a farmer in the village. "I have got a shirt, a lungi and my son has got money to buy
books for class eight from tobacco company's representative," he also added .
Tobacco company officials in Lalmonirhat said that
We have enlisted thirteen thousand cardholder farmers who cultivated tobaccos last year but it has increased up to about 23 thousand this year. whereas it was eight thousand in the year 2012. Besides many farmers without holding any cards from the companies have been cultivating tobacco, sources said.
Official sources of Agriculture Extension Department (AED) in
Lalmonirhat said, about double lands than that of last year have been cultivated for tobacco this year. About 25 thousand hectares of land were cultivated for tobacco in the last year 2013.
The Agriculture Officer at Aditmari upazila Hamidur Rahman said, farmers are encouraged and modified for cultivating tobacco as for the attractive offers, different gifts, and interest free loans by the tobacco companies. Alarmingly increasing of tobacco cultivation is high threat for the paddy growing in the region, he concerned adding the tobacco cultivation must be decreased if the companies stop them from giving attractive offers, gifts and modify to the farmers.