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Dhaka Tribune

Boro paddy will survive heatwave

  • 40% Boro rice harvested in Haor region
  • Boro harvesting to begin in 10-15 days in most areas
Update : 26 Apr 2024, 11:36 PM

Despite the scorching heat that is sweeping the country and the forecast for a prolonged heatwave, farmers are happily waiting to harvest Boro rice.

Stakeholders say that almost half the harvest is complete in the Haor region. 

However, in comparatively high areas, farmers will start harvesting Boro rice in two weeks.

Abu Zafar, deputy director of the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE), said: “There is no chance that the heatwave will harm paddy fields. Irrigation is no longer required.

“Instead, we’re eagerly expecting the moment the sweltering heat cools down, as the heatwave will cause an adverse situation. Hail storms will affect crops,” he warned. 

Stating that the high temperature is not harming Boro paddies, Jafar Mohammad Obaidullah, a farmer in Habiganj, said: “Instead, it has been helpful.”

The Boro rice has almost ripened, he said.  

“We’ll start harvesting in 10-15 days. But if hail storms occur now, they would damage the crop,” he feared. 

The image shows some farmers collecting paddy from the field. Photo: Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune

“Farmers in Haor and low-lying areas have started harvesting. We’ll start harvesting Agoi paddies (the rice variety cultivated 15 days before the Boro season),” Obaidullah said.  

DAE Deputy Director Zafar said that some 40% of the Boro paddy has been harvested in the Haor region. 

“Given the information from parts of the country, I think the entire Boro harvest will be completed within April,” he hoped. 

He, however, said that Boro harvest will start after 20-25 days in areas outside the Haor region. 

Farmer Aslam Mia of Pirojpur’s Nazirpur Upazila said that they have been suffering badly due to the heatwave. 

“Unless there is a hail storm, I don’t think there is anything to be worried about about the Boro yield. I’ve already harvested onions and mustard,” Aslam said. 

DAE Deputy Director Zafar said that usually, Boro paddy sheaves dry up due to excessive heat.

“The Boro paddies have survived the stage in question. No underdeveloped or dried-up sheaves (locally called chita) have been seen as yet,” he said. 

“But if there are hail storms, they could be a matter of concern. We’re worried about that. Otherwise, there is nothing to worry about about the paddies,” said Zafar. 

Hail storms were reported in parts of the country for several days in the last week of March. Even the capital city, too, witnessed hail storms.

Even though the DAE at the time said that no damage was done to crops, farmers in some areas reported that onions and mustard were affected. 

Mentionable, an official estimate in October last year revealed that Bangladesh, for the sixth straight year in FY 2022-23, saw increased production of rice, thanks to high-yield and hybrid varieties.  

In FY 2022-23, a staggering 20.7 million tons of Boro rice were produced in the country—a 3% increase from the previous year. 

The entire rice yield in FY 2022-23 soared by 2.5% to 39.1 million tons. 

Officials hope that the Boro production this season will break all previous records. 

When contacted, Agriculture Minister Md Absud Shahid said: “The crisis moments for Boro paddies have gone by, and it is time to harvest.

“The Boro harvest of Boro rice will start in full swing in a few days. The ongoing heatwave could not harm Boro paddies,” he said.

“If there are no nor’westers or hail storms in the coming days, there will be no harm. I hope there will be a bumper production of Boro rice this time around too,” he concluded.

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