• Monday, Nov 29, 2021
  • Last Update : 01:47 pm

Marginal farmers fall prey to exploitation by landowners

  • Published at 06:05 pm December 17th, 2013

Sharecropper farmers often fall prey to exploitation by landowners and irrigation service providers.

Farmers say that although they from work dawn to dusk in fields to produce the crops, landowners take away the lion’s share of their produce.

A sharecropper has to give away at least 60% of his/her produce to the landowners, whilst they have to pay all costs, including for fertilisers, pesticides and labour.  

According to Ayub Ali of Baghabo village, Farid Miah of Shimarbag village in Shibpur upazila, and Ambar Ali of Paikerchar village under Narsingdi sadar upaizla; a shallow irrigation machine costs Tk32,000 to Tk35,000, but they cannot afford to buy one because of their dire poverty.

They have to spend substantial amounts to hire shallow irrigation machines, and to buy pesticides and other things for cultivation.

“We can keep only a small portion of our produce after we give the landowners their share and meet the demands of the irrigation service providers,” said a farmer.

If land is fertile, it produces at least two crops in a year, so many sharecroppers scramble to get it.

 Locals said natural disasters, such as storms, droughts and floods, often shatter the sharecropper’s hopes of good harvest.

Some other sharecroppers told the Dhaka Tribune that lack of money often hinders them in their struggle for survival.

As they have no access to institutional loans from commercial banks, they are compelled to take loans from village moneylenders – at exorbitant rates of interest.

“Sometimes we have to pass our days in starvation after paying all dues and share of land owners as we do not have money, said another farmer. 

“But once you are in the trap of the moneylenders it becomes difficult to escape their clutches.”

They also stated that they faced hassle at every turn when trying to get agriculture loans from the banks.

Despite of all these obstacles, famers of the district seem to be very happy, as they have had a good harvest of Aman paddy.

The production of paddy has exceed targets set by DAE this year.

According to the department of Agriculture Extention, some 49,500 hectares of land have been brought under Aman cultivation this year.

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