Agriculture Minister Dr Md Abdur Razzaque termed the damage as 'not a huge loss'
Extremely severe cyclone Amphan’s right arm hit the coastal areas of Bangladesh affecting crops on some 1,76,007 hectares of land in 17 coastal districts.
Agriculture Minister Dr Md Abdur Razzaque came up with the initial estimate at a virtual press conference in Dhaka on Thursday adding that the agricultural sector “did not suffer a huge loss.”
“We are hoping to publish the financial estimation of the total loss by Saturday,” he said.
“60-70% mangoes of Satkhira district have faced damages, taking the amount of land to 3,000-4,000 hectares more.
“We have already asked Pran-RFL Group to buy the immature mangoes for producing pickle and chutney. Meanwhile, we requested the Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief to buy mature mangoes from the farmers so that they can distribute them as food aid,” he added.
“Moreover, yields of betel leaf and yellow petite lentil in Rajshahi were also damaged.” the minister said.
“Boro paddy has incurred damage in 47,002 hectares of lands which is 10% among the affected areas’ estimated production of that crop.
“96-97% of the total paddy production in Khulna was harvested before the cyclone made landfall. In Satkhira that number is almost 90%. Also, we had finished harvesting our Boro paddy production as per the prime minister’s instructions, way before the cyclone could damage anything,” Dr Razzak said.
He said: “Moreover, a total of 3,284 hectares of land of maize (5% of total production) yield, 34,139 hectares of jute (5%) yield, 2,333 hectares of betel leaf (15%) yield, 41,967 hectares of vegetable (25%) yield; 1,575 hectares peanut (20%) yield, 11,502 hectares of sesame (20%) yield, 7,384 hectares of mango (10%) yield, 473 hectares of litchi (5%) yield, 6,604 hectares of banana (10%) yield, 1,297 hectares of papaya (50%) yield, 3,306 hectares of chilli (30%) yield, 640 hectares of soybean (50%) yield, 7,973 hectares of yellow petite lentils (50%) yield, and 6,528 hectares of Aush paddy yield have been damaged by cyclone Amphan.”
“The extreme severe cyclone made landfall in 47 districts of our country. The overall damage is being calculated as per the information provided by the sub-assistant agriculture officers of the concerned area.
“A list of the affected farmers is being prepared. Various incentives including free fertilizers, seeds and financial assistance will be provided to them during the Aman season. Vegetable and spice farmers will be compensated especially,” the minister added.
“Moreover, the fruit growers and betel leaf farmers will be granted a loan on only 4% interest. We will also provide compensations based on the damage sustained.”
“Vegetable and flower farmers are the ones mostly affected by the shutdown for the coronavirus pandemic. We will also compensate them by providing free irrigation facilities,” said Dr Razzaque.
Cyclone Fani which hit on May 4, 2019, damaged crops on 63,063 hectares of land.
Cyclone Bulbul hit the coastal areas of Bangladesh on November 9, 2019, affecting some 2,89,006 hectares of land while crops in 22,836 hectares were damaged.