'We were about to harvest our ripe Aman crops, but before we could, the cyclone flooded all our crops'
Farmers in Koyra upazila of Khulna are frustrated and in despair. It will be a bad harvest for them, with 26,000 hectares of crops destroyed by Cyclone Bulbul across the district which hit the coastal areas of Bangladesh early Sunday.
Shamim Sheikh, a local fish farmer, said his fish enclosure on two acres of leased land was completely destroyed by the cyclone. He also said there were other farmers in the upazila who will face similar if not greater losses.
Abu Taher, a paddy farmer from Ghatakhali, said: “We were about to harvest our ripe Aman crops, but before we could, the cyclone flooded all our crops.”
Abul Kashem, another paddy farmer, said: “The paddy on my eight bighas of land was just about to form grains, and we could harvest within a few weeks. But the storm ruined everything.”
Koyra Upazila Agriculture Officer Mizan Mahmud said: “Farmers in the upazila have been instructed to bind their collapsed paddy crops together to save them from rotting. However, crops which have lost the sheaf are most likely going to get spoiled.”
Pankaj Kumar Majumdar, deputy director of the Department of Agricultural Extension of Khulna district, said: “At least 25,000 hectares of Aman, 864 hectares of vegetables, 52 hectares of banana, 100 hectares of papaya, 40 hectares of mustard, and 36 hectares of betel leaves were destroyed.
“Farmers in the district were expected to harvest 91,000 hectares of Aman, 3,610 hectares of vegetables, 503 hectares of banana, 357 hectares of papaya, 40 hectares of mustard, 790 hectares of betel leaves.”
Koyra Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) Shimul Kumar Saha said: “At least 2,300 home were completely destroyed, while around 4,800 homes were partially affected in seven unions of Koyra upazila due to cyclonic storm Bulbul.”
On Sunday, cyclonic storm Bulbul hit the coastal areas including Khulna, around 3:30am and wreaked havoc for five hours.