Management and economic value of textitSchumannianthus dichotoma in rural homesteads in the Sylhet region of Bangladesh


Schumannianthus dichotoma (Murta) is widely grown in wetland areas of Bangladesh, providing the raw material for prayer and bed mats and also minimizing flood risk and soil erosion. The study was carried out in two villages in Gowainghat Thana (subdistrict) in Sylhet district, to determine techniques for traditional management of Murta plantations and its role in the household economy. On average, about 13% of the total homestead area is used for Murta plantations. Propagation was from rhizomes and branch cuttings, and little intensive management was required. Harvesting was usually done annually, from mid-September to the end of March. Three-quarters of respondents were directly involved in Murta-based cottage enterprises, providing an average annual income of US$216: 43% of total income. Net average profit per man-day from selling articles varies from US$0.23 to 0.73. Middlemen make significant profits, due to lack of marketing knowledge and available market information and marketing facilities of the villagers. The cultivation and processing of Murta has great potential for the rural economy of such areas.

International Journal of Biodiversity Science & Management