‘Expand sugar beet cultivation as substitute to sugarcane’

‘Expand sugar beet cultivation as substitute to sugarcane’

Experts at a day-long farmers’ field day stressed expanded cultivation of tropical sugar beet as an effective substitute to sugarcane in increasing production of sugar and molasses.

The weather condition of Bangladesh is suitable for sugar beet farming, its sweetness and yield rate are much higher than sugarcane and the crop can be harvested in only five moths than a year in case of sugarcane, they said.

They put especial emphasis on enhancing rice cultivation in the country’s southern region while high-priced crops in the northern region as the sugar beet farming might be one of the options in both the regions.

Thakurgaon Regional Station of Bangladesh Sugarcane Research Institute
(BSRI) organised the field day on ‘Production of Tropical Sugar Beet in Bangladesh and its Expanded Cultivation’ at the Training Complex of Shyampur Sugar Mills Limited (SSML) under Badarganj upazila here on Friday.

Managing Director of SSML Abdul Awal attended the occasion as the chief guest with Principal Scientific Officer of Thakurgaon Regional Station of BSRI Dr Mohammad Jahangir Alam in the chair.

Chief Scientific Officer of Thakurgaon Regional Station of BSRI Dr Saidur Rahman, General Manager (Agriculture) of SSML Akhteruzzaman Munshi and local Gopalpur union chairman Altaf Hossain addressed as special guests.

President of SSML Sugarcane Growers’ Welfare Association Jahangir Hossain, General Secretary of SSML Employees Association Mamtazul Islam Mostafa and President of the Sugarcane Growers’ Welfare Association of Thakurgaon Sugar Mills Limited Nurul Amin spoke.

Moderated by Senior Scientific Officer of Thakurgaon Regional Station of BSRI Kawser Habib, officials and scientists of BSRI, Department of
Agriculture Extension, other agriculture related organisations and sugarcane growers participated.

The BSRI arranged the field day under its pilot project of ‘Development of Sugar Beet Cultivation Technologies in Bangladesh’ being implemented in 16 spots to increase sugar and molasses production through expanded cultivation of sugar beet.

The experts said research activities are being conducted on sugarcane as well as palm, date, ‘Kholpata’ and tropical sugar beet for cultivation on commercial basis in different parts of the country to explore brighter prospect of these crops as substitute to sugarcane.

They said tropical sugar beet is a plant, tuber of which contains high
concentration of sucrose and it is being cultivated commercially in many countries for sugar as well as molasses production and it ranks second to sugarcane for global sugar production.

Sugar beet takes 5-6 months for maturity against 12-14 months for
sugarcane, they said adding that sugar recovery rate from sugar beet is 10-12 percent against 8-10 percent for sugarcane.

The chief guest urged the researchers, scientists and officials of the
concerned organisations and authorities of the sugar mills for disseminating necessary knowledge and technologies to among the farmers for popularising sugar beet cultivation.



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