Farmers busy planting Boro seedlings in Satkhira

Published : 22 Jan 2024 10:21 PM
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Two months of Bengali calendar Poush and Magh included in the winter season in Bangladesh. Winter is an important and golden time for farmers in agriculturally dominant countries for planting Boro paddy seedlings. So, ignoring the harshness of winter, the festival of planting saplings is going on across Satkhira district.

The farmers of Satkhira are enjoying the busy time of planting saplings ignoring the severe cold and winter fog. Advance preparations for Boro paddy cultivation had begun before the start of winter season. In the months of Kartik and Agrahayan, the farmers started the work of preparing seedbeds in advance. Farmers have started early seeding and planting of paddy seedlings to bring home the paddy safely before the storm of nor’wester. 

Due to lack of rain this season, some farmers are yet to build seedbeds. Many of them are collecting paddy seedlings from far away and planting those on the land. In the current 2023-24 Boro season, about four lakh farmers of the district are planting different types of paddy seedlings in the field. Of those, Ufshi variety 63, 67, 74, 81, 88, 89 and 92 and hybrid, SL 8, Hira-2, Tezgold, Ispahani 8 and Shakti including desi hybrid 28 varieties of paddy. Farmers produce Boro paddy with tireless labor in just three and a half months after planting, applying fertilizers and pesticides through machine and watering the paddy field by irrigation.

According to the source of Agriculture Extension Department Satkhira, the target of Boro cultivation has been set on 79 thousand 820 hectares of land in the district by setting the target of yielding 4.22 mts of hybrid and Ufshi per hectare in the current Boro season.

Among them, 96 thousand 758 mst on 23 thousand 250 hectares in Satkhira Sadar, 52 thousand 246 mts on 12 thousand 650 hectares in Kalaroa, 85 thousand 705 mts on 20 thousand 260 hectares in Tala, 26 thousand 846 mts on 6 thousand 150 hectares land in Debhata, 6 thousand in Kaliganj, 28 thousand 528 mts on 880 hctares, 36 thousand 231 MT on 8 thousand 300 ha of Asashuni and 10 thousand 457 mts on 2 thousand 430 hectares Shyamnagar. 

In the current season, it is expected to get 22 to 24 maunds of paddy at a cost of Tk 10 to 12 thousand per bigha.

Sources also said that in the current season, two packages of government incentives have distributed as seeds and fertilizers free of cost to 20,000 Ufshi and 14,000 hybrid farmers among nearly 4 lakh farmers in the district. Out of this, 5 kgs of seeds and fertilizers and 2 kgs of hybrid seeds have been distributed to each farmer.

It has been observed that around 4 lakh farmers of the district are directly involved in agriculture work. During the full season, all farmers in the district are harvesting green crops in Boro cultivation at different rates. They earn their livelihood by doing agricultural work. In the district, 79 thousand 820 hectares of land have been set as a target for Boro cultivation, but due to the high price of rice, Boro cultivation will be performed on 500 hectares more than the set target.

As there is no waterlogging in the current season, it is assumed that Boro cultivation will be done on more land than the target everywhere in the upazila. Besides, many people are seen cultivating paddy even within the perimeter.

Akhter Hossain, Azizul Islam, Raihan, Jamal Ahmed, Hafizul Islam and Mintu Mia, farmers of different areas of all upazilas of the district told this correspondent   that there was no waterlogging due to low rainfall in the current season. For this reason, no land used for agricultural work will remain uncultivated. 

As the cost of goods is high, the amount of profit will decrease to a large extent. The government has given us fertilizer and seeds free of charge. If there is no natural calamity, the weather is good, rice diseases are less and then we expect a bumper crop of boro rice in Satkhira.

sSaiful Islam, Deputy Director of Agriculture Extension Department (Khambarari) Satkhira, said that the government has provided free fertilizer and seeds to the farmers this year as well. Flooding did not occur in any upazila of Satkhira. 

Moreover, in disaster-prone areas, Boro paddy cultivation will be possible as low-lying cultivated land is not submerged. Even during the peak season of Boro cultivation in the past few years, low-lying land remains submerged. As a result, these waterlogged arable lands remain uncultivated. Farmers suffer. 

Due to waterlogging caused by natural calamities this season, farmers have emphasized on Boro paddy cultivation to overcome the losses. Planting of rice seedlings is in progress with a production target of 3 lakh 36 thousand 771 mts of paddy/rice in Boro plantation on about 80 thousand hectares of land in the district. Barring any major natural calamities, farmers will benefit from the current season and exceed production targets.