Silk farmers demanding to ease fund crisis
Tuesday, 29 January 2008

Our Correspondent

Most of the silk farmers in Rajshahi have left their profession for fund crunch and lack of patronisation, prompting the Sericulture Board to take initiative for arranging credits on easy terms.

The Rajshahi Sericulture Board has already sent a proposal to the ministry concerned for revitalising the once profitable sector that employed thousands of people, sources said. According to the board, the production of locally made cotton has fallen as many silk farmers have deserted their profession for lack of fund. Local sources said silk was cultivated at Chatri, Chak Chatri, Pakuria, Kaligram, Monigram, Mirganj, Bolorampur, Alaipur, Moudipur, Harirampur, Bousha under Bagha upazila in Rajshahi.

At least 35 to 40 tonnes of cotton are produced in the greater Rajshahi while about 250 tonnes are needed only for the silk factories in Rajshahi at present, according to the Rajshahi Sericulture Board. So, they are exporting 200 tonnes of cotton from abroad to fulfil their demand, they said. In spite of this great demand for cotton, the government has closed the Rajshahi Resom Factory. Sunil Chandra Paul, chairman of the Rajshahi Sericulture Board, said they would sanction loan for the silk farmers who have left their profession at lower interest rate. ‘Already we send our proposal to the ministry’, he said.

Greater Rangpur Business Development Forum formed(SC) Agency Chamber leaders of greater Rangpur have formed a 23-member Greater Rangpur Business Development Forum to accelerate industrialisation in the district and expand trade and commerce as well as create employment opportunity.

Nazrul Islam, former executive chairman of the Board of Investment, was elected president and Tipu Munshi, former president of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, vice-president. Golam Quddus, chairman of Deshbandhu Sugar Mills was elected secretary general of the newly constituted forum at a meeting held at the Sonargaon Hotel on Friday.

Chamber leaders of Rangpur, Kurigram, Lalmonirhat, Gaibandha and Nilphamari and elite attended the meeting and decided to form a forum to look after the interest of the business community. The speakers at the meeting called for speedy industrialisation in the greater Rangpur district to generate employment and take up long-term plan to eradicate monga, a persistent problem of the area. They urged the government to supply natural gas to Rangpur and also explore the mineral resources and utilise them for the betterment of the people.

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