On September 18th 2019, the first jute was purchased directly from a farmer who participated in our F2F™ data collection process! It was indeed a groundbreaking development for our F2F™ project.

From my open and lively conversations with Zia Kha and four other F2F™ farmers, I have noted some interesting views which encourages us about the brighter prospect of F2F™ project:

  1. The farmers are extremely happy and astonished with the fact that they were paid upfront right away.
  2. The farmers are EXTREMELY HAPPY with the price they got from RJIL as it was certainly higher than the market price.
  3. The fact that no jute was garnished from the farmers had a huge positive impact on the farmers and would certainly encourage them to continue selling to RJIL directly and they would encourage others to come and sell to RJIL.
  4. The farmers demanded that we open jute purchasing centres in the local villages and do announcements in the local areas about this initiative to promote our effort to purchase jute directly from the farmers.

From my conversations with the above farmers, I am confirmed that a lot of the farmers, despite their interest, to sell directly to RJIL would not be able to do so during this season as they have already borrowed money from the jute traders during their financial needs and are obligated to sell to those traders they have borrowed money from, at the market price.

We also noted a couple of discomforts which are not difficult to overcome in order to make the whole process smoother:

  • Despite our repeated assurances that RJIL will purchase any amount of jute that the farmers want to sell, they are still hesitant to sell to the mill directly.
  • The assorting part of purchased jute by RJIL takes a little time as the moisture and grading are needed to be done by the Jute Purchase Manager of RJIL which is a standard procedure for the company. The farmers find this time-consuming process inconvenient.

We are now looking out different custom made models together with Juteborg and JuteLab International, in order to solve those above mentioned small discomforts of the farmers.

The overall impression of the farmers who sold their jute directly to RJIL has been really positive and they all are very happy and supportive about our initiative to purchase jute directly from the farmers.

The involvement of Nordic partners is creating an immensely positive impact on the entire F2F™ databased farmers pool.

Written by Jassim Hossain, (Advisor Razzaque Jute Industries Ltd) Implementation lead of the F2F™ activities in Bangladesh