‘I used to lose sleep thinking that an early flood this year may destroy all my hard-earned crops because the labour deficit may not allow me to gather my harvest in time'
Farmers have successfully gathered 95% of Boro paddy in Moulvibazar, despite uncertainties over the availability of labour and an early onset of the flood, potentially threatening this year’s harvest in the district.
With tireless efforts from 27,135 farmhands and using 39 harvesters and 121 reaper machines, farmers have managed to overcome the challenges brought forth by the coronavirus pandemic this year, says the district agriculture department.
Local farmers say the labour wages were higher compared to previous years due to this year’s labour shortage. However, they all agree that they were very worried about this year’s harvest and now they are delighted to have gathered it all so quickly.
Farmer Kamal Miya, of Hakaluki Haor, said: “I used to lose sleep thinking that an early flood this year may destroy all my hard-earned crops because the labour deficit may not allow me to gather my harvest in time. But, there was no problem this year.”
According to the Department of Agriculture Extension, this year the target for Boro production was set at 53,500 hectares and due to favourable weather and absence of sudden natural disasters, farmers have managed to reach that target.
Moulvibazar Department of Agriculture Extension Deputy Director Kazi Lutful Bari said: “Farmers have harvested 95% of Boro paddy in the district. The month of April posed some threats with potential hails and floods to damage the crops. But, farmers of haor regions have already gathered their harvest. Now, farmers in highland regions can take their time to harvest their crops.”
Regarding the preparations of an early flood in the district, Water Development Board Executive Engineer Ranendra Shangkar Chakraborty, said: “Boro farmers have successfully saved their crops from this year’s flood. But, we are also aware of the impending Aush and Aman cultivation this year.”
“All vulnerable embankments of Monu and Dhalai rivers have already been repaired. We have taken all possible measures to quickly take actions in case of a sudden dam collapse during the rainy season.”
Meanwhile, Agricultural Minister Md Abdur Razzaque on Tuesday told an online media briefing that farmers have already harvested about 90.02% of the Boro paddy sowed in the Haors and marshlands of Bangladesh.
He said that Boro paddy was cultivated across 454,399 hectares of wetlands this year, with 400,906 hectares yielding harvests.