National, Back Page

Food production likely to be affected if flood prolongs

Published : 22 Jun 2022 11:30 PM | Updated : 23 Jun 2022 01:57 PM

Every day new areas are being flooded. As a result, it is feared that crop damage will increase due to floods.

Besides, if the flood prolongs, Aus and Aman cultivation will be affected. This will have a negative impact on the overall food production.

The ongoing floods have already damaged crops on 22,000 hectares of land in Sylhet. In the two neighbouring districts of Sunamganj and Habiganj, another 28,000 hectares of paddy fields have been damaged. Besides, 58,000 hectares of field have been damaged so far in several districts including Kurigram and Nilphamari in the north.

Apart from crop lands, the loss of fish and cattle is also quite high. As of Sunday (June 19), 67,610 fish farms in 93 upazilas of 15 districts in five divisions of the country have been inundated by the floods. At least 16582 tonnes of fish have been washed away. As a result, the fish farmers have lost nearly Tk 160.42 crore.

On the other hand, 15,060 cattle farms in 316 unions of 74 upazilas in 12 districts of the country have been affected by the floods so far. The potential loss to the farmers is estimated to be Tk 261.83 crore.

Meanwhile, there is no preliminary estimate of the amount of vegetables damaged in the floods. However, the Department of Agricultural Extension said that now there are various vegetables on 387000 hectares of land across the country. Of this, 5000 hectares to 6000 hectares have been damaged so far. Summer crop sesame and almonds have suffered more damage. Huge quantity of pepper has spoiled in some areas.

This flood is a big threat to the agricultural sector like other sectors. Although not all the information is available so far, it is feared that the flood damage this year will surpass the damage caused by the 1998 floods. And because of this, the floods could have a big impact on the overall food production of the country.

However, agriculture minister Dr Abdur Razzque said as there are no big cultivated crops on the field floods will not be a threat to the country's food security.

"Aman is a big crop in the country, where about 10.5 million tonnes of rice is produced annually. Now the work of making seedbeds for Ropa Aman has started. “If the flood situation does not worsen, the seedbed will not be so damaged. However, if the flood prolongs, the seedbed will be damaged. But we will make a new seedbed," said the agriculture minister.

He said, “We are taking preparation considering all the circumstances. If Aman production is hampered due to floods or fields cannot be cultivated, then crop production should be increased during Rabi season. In that case, the farmers will be provided various materials including seeds, fertilizers and ensure irrigation facilities, free of cost.”

Related Topics