4,000 metric tonnes of paddy worth Tk6.6 crore have been destroyed
Hailstorms and rain have damaged vast tracts of Boro fields in south Sunamganj, affecting approximately 3,500 farmers from four unions.
Farmers have complained that no crops were left to harvest by the end of a 30-minute-long hailstorm on Monday morning.
Farmer Anfar Ali said: “I lease other peoples’ land to cultivate them, and now I cannot pay for it, or my other loans. Only a few square meters of land of all the acres I planted can be harvested from.
"I have no idea how to feed my family now," he lamented.
“A few days ago, the fields were filled with ripe paddy," Md Imdadul Haque, another farmer, said. "Now everything is destroyed, grain has fallen off the plants and is scattered on the ground."
The agriculture office in south Sunamganj said that 750 hectares of fields of Boro, hybrid 28, and other varieties were destroyed in four unions. This breaks down to 400 hectares in Shimulbak union; 150 hectares in Patharia union; and 100 hectares in Dargapasha and West Birgaon union, each.
As the hailstorm struck and 4,000 metric tonnes of paddy worth Tk6.6 crore were destroyed in the: Jamkhola, Gazinagar, Assammora, Radharbari, and Halikanda haors of these four unions.
Farmer Jahur Ali said: “I took a loan of Tk50 lakh to lease land for farming, and production was good too; but after the hailstorm, nothing is left to harvest.
"All has turned to hay," he said. "I do not know how I will repay my loan.”
Farmer Nuo Uddin added: “The production was so good that I would have been able to harvest 200 maunds of paddy. But the hailstorm has ruined it all.”
Jahur Mia, from Tehkia village, said: “I have lost all my crops and now have to sell my cattle to pay the labourers' wages. We are in desperate need of the government’s support.”
Deputy Assistant Agriculture Officer of Shimulbak union Jewel Rana said, “A hailstorm has destroyed all the crops here, leaving none for harvesting. Moreover, there is no other plantation to act as a backup.
“Farmers with loans are in great trouble and we will soon talk to higher officials to take the necessary steps,” he added.
District Agricultural Extension Officer Md Bashir Ahmed said: "3,500 farmers affected by the hailstorm are seeking the government’s help and support.
“The government has assured the farmers that they will be compensated,” he added.