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Low price of paddy frustrates Hili farmers despite bumper harvest

  • Published at 09:59 pm December 4th, 2018
web-aman-rice-hili
At present the production of Aman is about 16-18 maunds per bigha Dhaka Tribune

Farmers from the upazila’s Jalalpur, Chhatni and Mathpara areas said Aman production was good this year due to favourable weather conditions and very little pests and infections

Aman yield is high this season in Dinajpur’s Hili, but the price of paddy in wholesale markets is so low that many farmers are worried they will be counting losses.

A maund (approximately 40kg) of paddy is going for Tk600-700 in the wholesale market, far lower than last year’s price of Tk900-1,000.

Hili Upazila Agriculture Office says rice cultivation is expected to meet its target of a total of 23,026 metric tonnes from 8,205 hectares of land in this season. The administration set targets for 1,120 metric tonnes of hybrid rice from 325 hectares and 21,906 tonnes of Ufsi homegrown variety from 7,880 hectares.

At the current level of yield, the Agriculture Office believes that the target will be achieved.

Farmers however are saying that at a production cost of Tk7-8 per bigha (about a quarter hectare), the prevailing prices will push them into loss.

Farmers from the upazila’s Jalalpur, Chhatni and Mathpara areas said Aman production was good this year due to favourable weather conditions and very little pests and infections.

“Near the end of the season the weather was dry, and there was a concern about some elevated plots. But those plots were irrigated and the problem has been resolved, though the production cost has gone up a little,” one farmer said.

At present the production of paddy is about 16-18 maunds per bigha.

However, farmers said, the price of paddy in the market is as low as Tk600-650 per maund, which is less than the production cost in this season.

Sharecroppers face even more danger, as the cost of farm labour is rapidly on the rise.

Farmers said at last year’s price, profits would have been expected.

They said the government had not yet fixed the price of paddy as it had done in the previous years.

Hili Bazar’s paddy buyer Mushfikur Rahman said the running price for Guti Shorna paddy was Tk680-700, and Shorna 5 was Tk700-720 oer maund.

“The government has declared its buying price for rice at Tk36. When that begins, the price of paddy might go up by Tk20-30, but not more,” he said.

Hakimpur upazila Agriculture Officer Shamima Naznin said Ropa Aman cultivation target for the current season has already been achieved in 6,205 hectares of land.

“The farmers will hopefully get a decent price for their paddy once the government starts buying paddy,” she said.