Date juice changes fortune of many Rajshahi people during winter

RAJSHAHI, Dec 25, 2020 (BSS) – Date juice appeared as blessing for many
people here during winter season as it changes lots of juice collectors by
making them solvent, bringing smiles on their faces.

With the advent of winter, a large number of date juice extractors begin
collecting delicious juice from the date trees this year. They are earning
money by selling date juice and molasses.

Date juice and molasses are one of the best delicious food items in
winter. So, many people cultivate date trees commercially.

There are many date trees in the fields and roadsides in the region
including its vast Barind tract. Local villagers said three upazilas like
Charghat, Bagha and Puthiya in the district are famous for date-molasses.

Every winter, gachhis (date juice extractors) collect date juice, condense
the juice by heating it and make date jaggery. Later, they sell the jaggery
in Baneswar haat (weekly market) located on the premises of Baneswar union
land office and Jholmolia haat in Rajshahi.

Some molasses markets like Baneshwar, Puthia, Jhalmalia, Charghat and
Bagha are very famous in the region. Scores of people are engaged in molasses

Abdur Rashid, 48, an extractor of Salua village under Charghat Upazila,
said he has 210 trees on six and a half bigha land and earns around Taka two
lakh every year.

A date tree gives juice, cooking materials, molasses and other products,
he said. He said molasses produced by the farmers in the three upazilas are
being exported to many foreign countries escalating the rural economy.

Muhammad Moniruzzaman, another date juice harvester of the same village,
said he has no date tree for his own. Every season, he manages permission of
collecting juice of 120 trees of others at a cost of Taka 175.

One Ali processed around 25 kilograms of molasses from the collected juice
every day. He meets his annual family needs with getting profit doing the
seasonal molasses business.

Faruque Hossain of Jaigirpara village under Puthiya Upazila, a molasses
wholesaler at Jhalmalia Hat in the same upazila, said the sale volume of
molasses on every hat-day is more than Taka one crore.

Potters are struggling to supply specially designed small earthen pots for
collection of juice and big ones for boiling the juice to produce molasses,
which are sold in markets all over the country through traders.

Hossain hoped that the business will play a vital role in changing the
socio-economic picture of the whole region if everybody comes forward to
plant the trees in fallow lands.

Trader Anwar Hossain, who comes to Bagha Bazar from Barisal every year to
purchase molasses, told the journalists he purchased 40 mounds of molasses at
Taka 60 per kilogram.

Mohsin Ali, a retailer at the same market, said he sold molasses at Taka
65 per kilogram last week and the retail price is now on downtrend with
rising production.

Shamsul Haque, Deputy Director of the Department of Agriculture Extension
(DAE), said there are more than eight lakh date trees in the district
producing around 8,000 tonnes of molasses valued at around Taka 60 crore
every season.

There are also many other date trees on the side of roads, railway tracks
and on fallow lands and homesteads while date-molasses are produced
commercially here.

He added that regular in-taking of sugar or molasses with rice and other
nutritious foods is very essential for humans, especially the children for
brain development.


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