While speaking to this correspondent, these farmers demanded financial compensation from the government to overcome the unprecedented loss
Hundreds of groundnut farmers have suffered heatwave-induced crop losses in the vast plains near the Padma River in Charbhadrasan upazila of Faridpur.
Drought in the absence of timely rainfall and lack of effective irrigation systems in the char areas have sealed the fate of these farmers, who are now compelled to ask for an immediate government bailout.
The affected farmers said each maund of groundnut seeds alone had cost them Tk9,000-10,000 and with the added cost of preparing the land and purchasing fertilizers, their losses became quite hefty.
People living in river erosion affected areas largely depend on agriculture on the riverbanks.
And amid the lack of modern agricultural technology and convenient transportation and communication systems on top of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, achieving a satisfactory yield in groundnut cultivation was the only hope keeping these marginal farmers going.
Jonu Munshi, a farmer from Charbhadrasan, said: “I have lost almost all of my groundnuts to the recent heatwaves. It had cost around Tk50,000 to plant the crop on a 3-bigha land. But, the land now just seems barren.”
Similarly, another farmer Avi Khalasi said, he lost all groundnuts on his 4-bigha land and that many farmers in the area like him had suffered such crop losses.
While speaking to this correspondent, these farmers demanded financial compensation from the government to overcome the unprecedented loss.
They said if the government did not stand by them now, they would have no means of surviving till next season.
Apart from Khalasi Dangi of the upazila, Haji Dangi, Badula Matubbar Dangi, Kamar Dangi, Abdul Gafur Mridha Dangi and many farmers in Mathabhanga are in the same situation.
The situation is also similar in Lankar Char of Boalmari upazila, Pachuria, Char Pachuria, and Baderhat of Alfadanga upazila, and Degirchar union and North Channel of Sadar upazila.
Charbhadrasan Upazila Agriculture Officer Pratab Mandal said: “We are aware of the fact that local groundnut farmers are suffering crop losses due to extreme heat in absence of rainfall for four months. We are continuing our efforts to install more water pumps for irrigation purposes. Meanwhile, we will inform the higher authorities on these affected farmers and the matter of compensation for their failed crops.”
Hazrat Ali, deputy director of Faridpur Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE), said: “Groundnuts have been cultivated in 5,952 hectares of land in the district this year. At present many croplands are being sustained through irrigation activities. But irrigation is a major inconvenience here and there are no other remedies for drought. We have nothing else to do but wait for the rain.”