After bumper harvest of Aush paddy in Mirzaganj of Patuakhali, farmers are now busy planting Aman seedlings. Aman paddy saplings have already been planted in about 80 percent of the land in the upazila. The farmers said that the work of planting saplings in the remaining land will be completed in one to two weeks.
According to the Upazila Agriculture Office, the target for planting Aman paddy in 11,000 hectares of land in 8 unions of the upazila has been set for the current season. The target is to cultivate 10,000 hectares of local varieties and 1,000 hectares of UFC or high yielding varieties.
It can be seen on the ground that the farmers are plowing fields, some are cutting the aisles of the land by rowing, some are picking rice seedlings, while others are busy planting rice seedlings in the land. Someone is busy tending the re-planted saplings. Farmers are hoping that if the weather is favorable, the paddy will be better this time. As a result, the dream of the farmers is to be able to grow paddy in the current season.
Farmers said that bumper yield of paddy has been achieved due to favorable weather in this season. Besides, they have benefited from the very good price of paddy in the market. Last year, there was a flood after planting Aman paddy. As a result, many paddy fields were damaged. If the weather remains good this year, the harvest will be better than last year, God willing.
Farmers also said that it would be difficult to plant paddy at any time if the land was submerged in water. Besides, the amount of water available in the land at present is a suitable time for planting paddy. If the long drought starts again, even if the water of the land dries up, it will be difficult to plant paddy. So the farmers are busy planting Aman paddy currently.
Upazila Agriculture Officer Arafat Hossain said, "We hope that the target set for our Aman paddy this year, if the farmers can plant the rice seedlings at the right time and if the weather is favorable, the land will have a good yield and the target will be exceeded."
He added that in Mirzaganj, the cultivation of local varieties of paddy is traditionally more common during the Aman season. There are modern high yielding varieties of rice invented by Bangladesh Rice Research Institute, such as - BRRI-Paddy 52, 6, 7 etc. They yield twice as much as the local varieties and are suitable for the climate of the region.
In particular, BRRI- 6 and 7 have been developed for Barisal division.
These rice seedlings are as tall as normal plain rice, which does not cause any water problems. If it is possible to cultivate more of these two varieties at the farmer level, the overall yield of Aman in Mirzaganj will double.