The soil is now rough and less fertile due to the crisis
Scarcity of water in the water bodies of Sunamganj has led to an irrigation crisis in the area. Farmers from the Shonir Haor, Matiyan Haor, Halir Haor and Khorchar Haor areas have expressed grave distress over the crisis.
The farmers cited the lack of water due to water bodies drying up and the lack of rain as the major causes of their predicament.
Shudin Mondol, a farmer from Balijuri union said: “We have had much less rainfall this year compared to the last.”
Power tiller operator Goyech Mia said: “It is difficult to carry on with any kind of irrigation work when there is no water. The soil is not soft; we have to plough through the rough soil which costs more engine power and oil.
“We are being unable to bear the expenses,” he said.
Other farmers said due to the soil being less fertile, they have to use more fertilizer. Rat infestation is another problem right now. Some farmers who are slightly more affluent are buying their own small machines for irrigation. Those who are not so fortunate are suffering even more.
Fatehpur Union Parishad Chairman Ranjit Chowdhury said: “The government has dug into multiple rivers at the same time, causing the haors to drain prematurely. The farmers are in grave crisis.”
“We need a permanent water reservoir to solve the problem. We need to enable the farmers to carry on the irrigation process without critical obstructions,” he said.
Additional Deputy Director of Sunamganj Department of Agricultural Extension Md Abdul Monnaf said: “In order to get a yield of Boro rice, the farmers need to have a steady supply of water throughout the process from sowing to harvesting.
“When that does not happen, the crop suffers from disease, malnutrition and insect infestation.”
President of Haor Bachao, Sunamganj Bachao Andolon Advocate Bojlul Majid Chowdhury said: “We need a long-term sustainable plan, and implementation, to solve this problem.”
Hossain Mohammad Khaleduzzaman, Assistant Engineer of Bangladesh Agriculture Development Corporation (BADC) of Sunamganj said: “BADC has many irrigation programs in this area. The farmers are benefitting from it. We will do everything we can to help the farmers in this situation.”