Jibannagar paddy farmers face labour shortage, uncertainty in crop harvest

Published : 28 Apr 2022 09:20 PM | Updated : 28 Apr 2022 09:20 PM

Bumper yield of Boro paddy has been achieved at Jibannagar upazila of Chuadanga district this season. The rice has already started to ripen. Farmers who used to cultivate Boro paddy in advance have already started harvesting paddy. However, from the next week, the rice harvest will start completely. However, the farmers are in trouble due to the labor crisis in the region. Jibannagar Upazila’s Hasadah, Simanta, Andulbaria and Uthli Union, several farmers have been talking, it is known that the weather has been favorable from the beginning, the paddy yield has been good. Compared to other years, this time there was no disease of crops. In the past, 4-5 thousand workers from Faridpur, Kushtia, Daulatpur, Pabna and other districts used to come to Jibannagar to cut paddy. In exchange for their wages, they would cut the paddy and take it home. However, due to the global pandemic caused by Covid-19, the number of workers has decreased in the last two years.

Farmers say they have contacted the workers again. But most of the workers said they would not come. But next week the harvest will start. Delay in harvesting and threshing of ripe paddy within 12 to 14 days will result in huge losses. In this situation the farmers have lost their way.

Abzalur Rahman Dhiru, a Boro paddy farmer of Uthli village of the upazila, said, “Farmers get some additional time to cut Aman paddy even after ripening. But the IRRI-Boro paddy does not last long after the rice is ripe. This is because if there is a delay in harvesting and threshing of ripe paddy, there is a risk of crop failure in the rainy season and Nor ’wester . He further said, “This time I have cultivated Boro paddy in 8 bighas of land. Paddy has already ripened in some lands. But I can't cut paddy due to lack of labor.”

According to the Upazila Agriculture Office, the target for paddy cultivation was set at 6,900 hectares of land in Jibannagar Upazila this season. There, 6,500 hectares of land has been cultivated. Boro paddy has been planted on 600 hectares more land than the target. The target for paddy production has been set at 49,500 metric tons. The Department of Agriculture expects the target to be exceeded due to bumper yields.

Jibannagar Upazila Agriculture Officer Sharmin Akhter said the agriculture department was contacting workers in different areas to alleviate the labor crisis. Hopefully the problem will be solved.