LALMONIRHAT, Oct 14 (UNB): Already hit hard by Covid-19 and related restrictions, farmersof five upazilas in Lalmonirhat district have been dealt another severe blow this year- this time, by a month of torrential rainfall.
The incessant showers over the past one month and consequent flooding havenot only flattened the crops and inundated theagricultural fields androads of thefive upazilas, but have also pushed many to the brink of starvation.
"I brought two bighas of land under Aman cultivation. I was waiting for the sheaf of paddy but torrential rainfall for over a month has ruined my crops, also my livelihood," saidSoypal Mia, a farmer in Chalbala union of Kaliganjupazila.
Soypal's agricultural land is stillsubmerged and he is struggling to drain water from the fields. "There is no scope to plant new crops on this land," he said.
Mufti Abul Hossain, a farmer of SatbhitaDola, said, "I brought 15 bighas of land for Aman paddy cultivation but rains have flattened my fields. I have not been able to collect straw as fodder for my cattle. How would I feed my family, only Allah knows."
Farmers say they will now have to hire peoplefor clearing the agricultural fields of rotten crops and weeds.
Farmers are nowdemanding government assistance for the worst affected.
According to the District Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE), a target has been set to cultivate Aman paddy on 85,290 hectares of land in the district this year, but only 85,575 hectares could be brought under Aman cultivation.
Some 3,500 hectares of Aman land have been submerged, while 13,605 farmers are affected fully as their fields have been damaged.
Besides, 62 hectares of vegetables and peanut frields have been damaged.According to the DAE, some 860 hectares of land of 16,470 farmers have been damaged in the district.
But the farmers said the number of affected farmers and lands will be doubled than the figure provided by the DAE.
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