Farmers’ lot changes as non-arable lands come under farming

Published : 23 Nov 2021 09:27 PM | Updated : 24 Nov 2021 12:21 PM

Irrigation facilities of Sonaichhara water project in Mirsarai upazila of Chattogram are being cultivated on about 60 hectares of agricultural land and Boro paddy is being planted on 20 hectares of land. 

The project has a lake of about 10 acres at a depth of 30 feet. Where water is retained during the rainy season, water is released for cultivation in the dry season. The tourism industry can also be developed with the Sonaichhara spring.

It is learned that Sonaichhara Water Management Cooperative Society Ltd. was formed in 2006 with 850 farmers of wards 5, 6 and 7 of Khaiyachhara union of the upazila. 

Training of farmers, distribution of agricultural loans to farmers from their own savings is done by the association. 

Even in the last few years, the village of East Polmogra on a hilly slope was flooded during the monsoons, destroying the crops of the farmers and washing away their fishes from the pond. 

Read more: 1.7m-tonne paddy production target for Rangpur region

Later, the Sonaichhara Water Management Cooperative Society approached the Upazila Office of the Local Government Engineering Department (LGED) for construction of a dam and switch gate at the foot of the hill. 

LGED acquired 42 per cent land in 2006 and Sonaichhara Water Management Cooperative Society purchased 10 per cent land. LGED Baromasi set up a regulator at the mouth of Baromasi Sonaichhara to build a dam and retain water at a cost of around Tk 4.33 crore on 52 acres of land. 

At the same time 3 and a half kilometers of canal was repaired. The construction of dam and installation of regulator was completed in 2016.

Mohammad Shahjahan, Deputy Assistant Agriculture Officer of Book No. 36 of Khaiyachhara Union No. 12 of the upazila, said boro cultivation was not practiced in wards 5, 6 and 7 of Khaiyachhara Union before. Boro has been cultivated in 10 hectares of land last year due to Sonaichhari water project. 

Boro cultivation target has been set for 20 hectares of land this year. Besides, Rabi Sisinga, shrimp, gourd, Barbati, Dhundal and groundnut are being cultivated with the water of the lake. 

With the water of the project, about 100 hectares of agricultural land including Boro cultivation, preparation of Aus seedbed, Rabi crop has come under cultivation.

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