RAJSHAHI, May 15: Due to untimely heavy rainfall, hope for a bumper production of Boro paddy has been dashed in the district. Due to impact of climate change, there was repeated rain, hail-storm and storm during the advent of the summer which destroyed the standing paddy. As a result, the farmers of the district would rather incur a huge loss in Boro cultivation this season.
According to local farmers and agriculturists, from the very first day of transplantation, the condition of Boro was highly inspiring and there was a smooth growth of the plant with a huge sheaf of paddy. Within a week, farmers were expecting to reap home their dream paddy but all have been destroyed with the untimely rain and storm.
According to local meteorological department sources, during Baishak (April-May) there was over 200 mm of rainfall in the district. There was no such previous record of such rainfall during this season in this drought-prone district. With the rain, the nor'wester also damaged Boro field.
The hail-stone also damaged paddy of some areas of the district. As the water has been logged in the paddy field, it was troublesome to reap paddy. Moreover, acute shortage of labour is hampering harvest. Even after offering the double wages than the normal time, labourers were not available. The machine for reaping, mowing and processing of paddy was not also working in muddy water. All these conditions were driving the Boro farmers mad.
Zaidur Rahman of Karnahar village under Paba upazila had transplanted Boro on 23 bighas of land while Nurul Amin of Bilnepalpara of the same upazila had transplanted Boro of five bighas of land. The devastating, untimely rainfall and storm have damaged paddy of the areas. Rainwater has created waterlogging and paddy has been inundated in the water. Now, due to labour shortages, the farmers were not being able to harvest the leftover in the field. Those who have managed labour and harvested paddy, were also disappointed for a poor harvest and by selling the raw paddy they were repaying the labour cost.
Thousands of labourers were now engaged in various development project of the government and in 'employment generation' project undertaken by the government. The government should rather employ those labourers to harvest crops and assist the farmers.
Agriculture Extension sources in Rajshahi said farmers of the district have so far could harvest 50 per cent of their transplanted paddy. The sources advised the farmers to reap paddy as early as possible without thinking to save straw or lessening of rainfall.
According to the sources of Rajshahi DAE, this year, the target of Boro cultivation was set at 66,212 hectares of land but the actual cultivation was in 69,205 hectares of land while last year Boro was cultivated on 67,000 hectares. Due to a good market price, the paddy cultivation had surpassed by 15,000 hectares of land as against the target. The source further mentioned, rain and hail-stone has affected Boro paddy of some 2,000 hectares of land and damaged paddy of 1,000 hectares of land.
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