Early harvest of short duration Aman rice has already begun creating jobs for farm-labourers and helping them in tackling the 'seasonal lean period' of 'Aswin' and 'Kartik' months in Rangpur agriculture region.
Like in the previous years, short duration Aman rice harvest is now helping small and marginal farmers and farm-laborers in tackling the 'seasonal lean period' that has already disappeared from the region 13 years back.
Officials of the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) said expanded cultivation of short duration Aman rice was launched in 2009 aiming at creating jobs for farm-laborers through early harvest of the crop during the seasonal lean period.
"Early harvest of short duration Aman rice creates jobs for farm-laborers during the 'seasonal lean periods' since 2010 relieving them from poverty," said Agriculturist Mohammad Shah Alam, Additional Director of the DAE, Rangpur region.
Earlier, a poverty-like situation was being created for lack of agricultural activities during the months of 'Aswin' and 'Kartik' causing untold miseries to the poor and farm-labourers even 14 years ago.
The DAE has fixed a target of producing 18,07,916 tonnes of clean Aman rice (27,11,874 tonnes of paddy) from 6,15,685 hectares of land for all five districts of the region this season.
Farmers have cultivated Aman rice on 6,15,981 hectares of land exceeding the fixed farming target by 296 hectares of land.
"Of them, farmers have cultivated short duration varieties of Aman rice on over 62,000 hectares of land across the region this season," he said.
Meanwhile, farmers have already harvested short duration Aman rice on 3,000 hectares of land till Sunday and got an average yield rate of 2.48 tonnes of clean Aman rice (3.72 tonnes of paddy) per hectare of land.
Beginning from October, harvesting of short duration Aman rice will continue till the end of November next.
"After harvesting short duration Aman rice, farmers will cultivate early varieties of potato, mustard, winter vegetables and other crops on the same land to increase crop intensity and earn more profits," Alam added.
Independence Award 2018 Medal (food security) winner Agriculturist Dr. Md. Abdul Mazid said early harvest of short duration Aman rice followed by cultivation of early varieties of winter crops on the same land creates huge jobs during the lean period.
"Assuming power in 2009, the Awami League government led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina put stress on expanding short duration Aman rice farming and rapidly eliminated the seasonal joblessness situation of 'monga' by 2010 from Rangpur region," he said.
Farmers Lutfar Rahman, Narayan Chandra, Rabindranath Roy, Mofizar Rahman and Fazlul Haque of Taraganj upazila here said they have already harvested short duration Aman rice and got excellent output.
They are happy getting excellent market prices of newly harvested Aman paddy between Taka 1,000 and Taka 1,100 per mound (every 40 kilograms).
In addition to meeting food needs of farmers with the newly harvested rice, raw paddy straws are also providing cattle fodder. Raw paddy straw is in great demand as cattle fodder.
"Farmers are selling raw paddy straws produced from one bigha (33 decimals) of land at Taka 5,000 and Taka 6,000 now," said farmer Ariful Haque Batul of village Najirdigar in Rangpur Sadar upazila.