Farmers have shown eagerness to harvest Cassava under the contract farming policy of Pran, a business conglomerate, as around 2000 farmers across the country are now harvesting this root crop in this way.
The company is now collecting cassava from its farmers under contract and aims to collect 30,000 tonnes of crop in this season, said a media statement issued on Wednesday.
Cassava is a root crop which is planted in fallow land and hilly areas with a little cost and labour. In Bangladesh, the crop is popularly known as `Shimul Alu'.
Mahatab Uddin, chief operating officer at Pran Agro Business, said, "Pran introduced the contract farming of cassava in 2014. The conglomerate has been encouraging farmers to grow the new crop under its contract farming system."
The hilly and fallow land are being used under the cassava project while the farmers are benefiting economically.
Pran is encouraging farmers by conducting training programmes, providing financial assistance, logistics support and seeds at a low cost.
The business firm aims to collect 30,000 tonnes of cassava from their farmers under contract who have cultivated the crop in around 5,500 acres of land this season.
According to the press statement, farmers of Rangamati, Khagrachhari, Sylhet, Habiganj, Moulvibazar, Tangail, Mymensingh, Jamalpur and Cumilla districts have cultivated cassava this year.
Kamruzzaman Kamal, marketing director at Pran-Rfl Group, said Pran has a cassava processing plant in Habiganj Industrial Park under its sister concern Sylvan Agriculture Limited where sixty thousand tonnes of cassava can be processed in a year.
Pran is manufacturing starch from cassava which is now being widely used in garment, pharmaceuticals and processed food industries.
Besides, it can also be used as a boiled food and animal foods.
The government has taken up a project to increase the cultivation of cassava in fallow land and hilly areas, an initiative which is instrumental in extending the cultivation of the crop.
"Now more publicity is required to encourage farmers to harvest the crop," said Kamruzzaman.