Disasters hit 30 lakh farmers

Nearly 3 lakh hectares of crop lands also affected

Natural disasters that expose socio-economic vulnerability of the country have affected 2,81,535 hectares of crop lands badly damaging 11,69,364 tonnes of food grains worth over Tk 3000 crore this year.

Taking a serious note of the situation, the government has already come up with various initiatives including cash incentive to recover the losses and encourage the 30 lakh farmers who are hard hit by the natural disasters.

A disaster-prone country, Bangladesh suffers economic losses as frequent natural disasters increase fiscal pressure on the government, besides worsening social and economic conditions of the people.

This year crops and vegetable fields have been damaged due to prolonged flooding and heavy rains, affecting the vegetable market.

In addition, the last two weeks of continuous rains have also destroyed the winter advance vegetable fields. All in all, the farmers fear that they will have to count a huge loss due to this disaster.

The farmers have demanded government assistance to compensate the loss. The Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) said a list of affected farmers is being compiled.

Besides, the DAE will provide all kinds of assistance to the farmers so that they can make up for the loss.

However, various natural calamities have damaged crops worth around Tk 3,000 crore this year. About 30 lakh farmers lost 2 lakh 81 thousand 535 hectares of lands. As a result, the production loss is 11 lakh 69 thousand 364 tons, According to DAE sources.

During the year, natural calamities affected Aman, Aman seedbed, Boro paddy, Aus paddy, Aus seedbed, vegetables, chilli, groundnut, masakalai, betel leaf, banana orchard, sugarcane, mango orchard and litchi orchard.

To overcome the losses, the government is implementing various incentive programs including free distribution of fertilizers and seeds. This information has been known from the sources of the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE).

According to DAE, in order to compensate for the flood damage of the Aman season in the fiscal year 2020-21, community-based transplanted Aman rice seedlings are being produced in the affected areas under the supervision of the Department of Agricultural Extension. A Tk 2 crore 14 lakh has been allocated for the construction of 527 acres of seedbed for 35 thousand 166 farmers in 33 districts.

To make up the loss of the current transplanted Aman season, a program has been taken to produce transplanted Aman rice seedlings in floating beds. The amount of seedbed in 5,060 beds is more than 15 acres and the amount of cultivable land is 417 acres. 1,600 farmers are expected to be benefitted from this and Tk 69 lakh has been allocated for this.

Meanwhile, a rehabilitation program of Tk 88,42,250 has been implemented for the production of seedlings of Nabi variety RopaAman rice and distribution of paddy seeds as a precautionary measure to compensate for the possible flood damage during the transplantation season in 2019-20. The program is implemented in 88 districts. The number of beneficiary farmers is 6,200.

Free seeds, fertilizers and cash subsidy were provided to small and marginal farmers to increase the production of wheat, maize, mustard, sunflower, groundnut, onion and summer sesame during Rabi season. About 6 lakh 86 thousand 700 farmers have been benefited in 56 districts by this way.

Besides, a rebate of Tk 11 crore 40 lakh 45 thousand and advance withdrawal was allowed for agricultural rehabilitation program for the farmers affected by Cyclone Bulbul. For small and marginal farmers, a program of Taka 2 crore 63 lakh has been taken to increase the cultivation of UfshiAus (seed support) in the financial year 2019-20 or 2020-21.

In this regard, DD of the DAE Masudur Rahman told the Bangladesh Post that they visited the flood affected areas of the country and asked the field level Sub Assistant Agriculture Officers to motivate the affected farmers to go for Robi farming on their land without delay.