Farmers overcome challenges

90pc of Boro paddy harvested in haor areas amid crisis

Published : 04 May 2020 10:06 PM | Updated : 05 Sep 2020 07:43 PM

Timely harvest of Boro paddy in haor regions of the country had emerged as a big challenge amid spread of coronavirus, the farmers at last overcame the challenge.   The paddy harvest is about to be completed in days in the haor districts. 

The farmers had been facing shortage of farm labourers to harvest their standing Boro, the largest cereal crop of Bangladesh. The farmers are now happy as they managed making a safe harvest amid the crisis. Haor areas in seven districts harvested nearly 90 per cent of Boro paddy.

According to sources of Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE), Boro farmers have harvested about 90 per cent of their paddy sowed in haor areas in seven districts. The rest of the paddy in those haor areas will be harvested within three to four days, a DAE Additional Director said on Monday.

Amid the coronavirus crisis and apprehension flash flood in some parts of haor areas, a hectic effort is now underway to save the Boro crop in the peak rice harvesting season.

Boro paddy production target has been set at 36.45 lakh tonnes in seven haor districts, which is about 20 per cent of the total target. Earlier, the government was not able to achieve the target as the farmers in the haors were affected by the floods. 

So, the administration does want to lose paddy this time. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has been saying that there could be a food crisis all over the world because of global pandemic coronavirus. 

“Not an inch of soil should be wasted. People should harvest vegetables, fruits, crops and every inch of soil should be used efficiently. Many people can sell those produced vegetables to meet their own needs. If we can produce more food in the country, we will be able to meet our own needs,” she said recently.  

Besides, she has repeatedly urged the Agriculture Minister to ensure that the Boro paddy is in the hands of the farmers this time. She directed the Deputy Commissioners to send workers so that there would be no labour crisis.

The ministry started work immediately after receiving the PM’s instruction. A total of 362 combine harvesters and 1,056 reapers were provided on an emergency basis for harvesting paddy in the haor. 

Besides, leaders and activists of Chhatra League, Juba League, Sramik League and Krishak League also join hands with farmers to cut the paddy. So far, nearly 90 percent of the paddy has been harvested without any danger.

Agriculture Secretary Nasiruzzaman said that the government has taken initiatives to cut paddy in Kishoreganj, Netrokona, Sunamganj, Moulvibazar, Habiganj, Sylhet and Brahmanbaria and supplied 180 combine harvesters and 136 rippers in an emergency to get the paddy from haor areas amid the fear of corona and floods.

He also said, “At present 362 combine harvesters and 1,056 reapers are present in haor areas. Besides, unemployed workers of different places including Dhaka have been employed to harvest paddy from haors in seven districts. 

Arrangements have been made to harvest paddy quickly by bringing workers from different districts. That is why 86 percent of the paddy in the haor has already been cut.”