Date juice extractors preparing molasses from raw juice in Thakurgaon Dhaka Tribune
Date juice is in high demand in the district during winter
Thakurgaon district in the north-western side of Bangladesh is famous for many agricultural products, ranging from rice and wheat to sugarcane, seasonal vegetables and fruits. Now, the experimental cultivation of dates and extraction of date juice is showing promise in the district.
Small-scale date farms in Thakurgaon are making profits due to the high demand for the product in winter. A total of 1,000 date palms have been experimentally cultivated on 10 acres of land of Mohonpur Sugarcane Farm, owned by Thakurgaon Sugar Mills, in Sadar upazila.
Recently, a 10 member team of gachhis have been extremely busy extracting the date juice to meet the demand from locals.
Sujon Ali, head of the team, said: “The gachhis have been very busy since the beginning of this season, climbing to the tops of trees, cleaning them and peeling off the upper layer.”
He added that they could make a decent profit from selling the date juice, but the small number of palms would not be able to meet the demands of the people of the district.
“Since the demand is high, more date palms should be cultivated,” Sujon said.
The date juice molasses is being sold at about Tk150 per kg. Some date juice extractors said they are hopeful of earning around Tk1,000-1,200 a day from the sale of date juice.
A gachhi of the team said: ”We are very proud to be famous for date juice and patali gur in the region. We hope that we will earn Tk500,000 profit this year.”
Abul Hossain Sarkar College Professor Khoda Box Dablu said date juice has added a new dimension to the culture and economy of the district.
Shakhawat Hossain, director of Thakurgaon Sugar Mills, said 1,000 date palms were experimentally cultivated on the fallow land in the mill area 10 years ago. The gachhis have been extracting the juice over the last four years.
UNO Abdullah Al Mamun said date trees grow well in the district due to a favourable climate.