The Farmer Organization Swadhin Krishok Sangathan (SKS) organized a human chain today at Jhenaidah town demanding price of jute Tk.2500/mound. The jute price this year is below Tk.1500/mound which is quite below the cost of production. More than hundred of farmers both male and female formed the human chain decorated with banner, jute fiber, jute stick. The peoples of different walks of life including human rights activists, teachers, journalists, development activists participated to the event to express their solidarity with the demand. Another farmer organization Kendrio Krishok Moitree and the civil society network KHANI Bangladesh also expressed their solidarity with the demand.
From a rapid survey conducted by Unnayan Dhara shows that the average cost of production per mound of jute is Tk.2332 which is quite higher than the existing market price. Therefore, the farmers have to count huge loss from selling jute this year which will throw the farmers into immense misery and discourage them to cultivate jute in next year. It is a great threat for not only the livelihood of the farmers of the country but also for the sustainable agriculture and future of the golden fiber of the country. Therefore, the government need to think seriously about the issue and take necessary initiative to increase the price of the Jute.
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With the commitment of ensuring profitable price for producers and ensuring safe food for the consumers a new outlet of Lokaj Bazar has been opened at Hatfazilpur Bazar under Shailkupa upazila of Jhenaidah district. The farmer organization named Swadhin Krishak Sangathan (SKS) took the initiative of opening the outlet with support from Unnayan Dhara and its development partners Bread for the World, Germany.
It is expected that the outlet will not only contribute to ensure safe food at rural level but also strengthen the capacity of the farmer organization in enhancing their market access for getting profitable prices of their produces.
Unnayan Dhara and the Farmer Organization SKS observed the World Environment Day 2017 with a rally and indoor discussion meeting. The main slogan of the day was selected as “Let’s do organic farming for saving the life and nature”. The rally decorated with banner and T-shirt rounded through the central roads of Jhenaidah town and merged with the rally organized by the Jhenaidah district administration.
In the indoor discussion meeting was held later on where the farmers, women, youth and UD staffs participated. The participants discussed about the irrational destructive activities of human beings in the world and even in the country and our surroundings for our own comfort, consumerism and luxury which are the main reasons of environmental destruction and climate change. They also said that the excessive use of poisonous agri-chemicals in the farming system are the main cause of biodiversity degradation and environmental pollution. Therefore, the changes must come within ourselves first. They emphasized that we must replace the present farming system with organic farming system for saving lives and nature. The participants expressed their firm determination to change the behaviors and practices of their own that cause environmental pollution and degradation.
Pohela Baishakh, the first day of Bengali Calendar was celebrated by the farmer organization named Swadhin Krishok Sangathan (SKS) with the support from Unnayan Dhara and its’ development partners Bread for the World, Germany and The Swallows Sweden, at Vatoi & Hatfazilpur Bazar of Shailokupa and Kulbaria village of Sadar upazila of Jhenaidah district and at Alamkhali village of Magura district today on 14 April, 2017. A huge number of farmers and villagers participated in the colouful rally and other local cultural events to observe the day. Eating Panta (soaked rice) was also a major celebrating items of the day.
The agriculture of Bangladesh is closely associated with Bengali Calendar while the farmers used to calculate their seeding time based on the Bengali month. The Bengalese used to observe the Bengali New Year with festive mode. In fact, most of the rural cultural festivals of rural Bangladesh are associated with Bengali months. But, very unfortunately the traditional & glorious Bengali culture is under threat of extinction as the new generations are fond of modern sky culture. Therefore, UD always motivate the farmers and rural people to keep the traditional culture of rural Bangladesh that would be the key to maintain the social harmony in the context of growing unrest & violence in the society.
The main slogan of the day was “Say no to Fast & Junk Food, Nourish the Traditional Bengali Food Culture” which is the essential element of food security of Bangladesh.