Rain brings hope to Aman rice farmers

Published : 25 Aug 2023 08:52 PM

Amidst the sweltering summer sun, numerous farmers across the region were seen grappling with formidable challenges in their quest to cultivate crops, particularly Aman rice. Faced with the relentless heat, some even chose to abstain from planting crops altogether, while others went forging ahead with innovative strategies to cultivate.

Harunur Rashid, a farmer hailing from Musapur in Raipura, Narsingdi, initially opted against cultivating Aman rice paddy due to the scorching sun and drought conditions prevailing in July. However, with the advent of consistent rainfall sweeping across the country since the commencement of August, Rashid had a change of heart and decided to initiate Aman paddy planting in his fields.

As of August 22nd, Narsingdi's Agricultural Extension Department reports that half of the targeted Aman paddy has been successfully planted within the stipulated timeframe. Remarkably, just a month ago, a mere 10 to 12 percent of the intended Aman paddy had found its way into the soil. This marks a rapid transformation, with approximately 40 percent of the land now cultivated in a mere 20 days.

Depending on the specific area, the planting endeavours are set to continue until September 15th, according to the department's projections.

Based on information from the Directorate of Agricultural Extension, the government's aspiration is to cultivate 41.50 thousand hectares in Narsingdi district, contributing to a nationwide total of 59.33 lakh hectares. This season's yield is projected to amount to 1.5 crore tons of rice, barring any significant adversities. Significantly, the amount of Aman cultivation is witnessing a surge in regions like Belabo upazila, encompassing Raipura, Narsingdi Sadar, Manohardi, Shibpur, and Palash of Narsingdi.

Reports from relevant government agricultural departments indicate that 70 percent of Aman paddy farmers are reliant on rainwater. However, those who have secured access to irrigation pumps have managed to reduce their dependency on rainfall.

Recent bouts of precipitation have breathed new life into crops, as affirmed by Abdur Rahman, a farmer from Raipura. Rahman intends to cultivate Aman across 2-3 bigha of land. The consistent rainfall over the past two weeks has proven fortuitous for farmers, propelling them to promptly prepare the land and embark on paddy planting during these rainy spells. The

Department of Agriculture suggests that due to the uninterrupted rains, Aman cultivation might even surpass the set target this season.

The Narsingdi Agriculture Department reports that the district's Aman cultivation target stands at 41,050 hectares. Of this, Aman has already been sown in 20,533 hectares of land, which signifies that over 50 percent of the target has been accomplished. This surge in planting has predominantly taken place within the last two weeks.

Over the course of the past 20 days (up to August 22nd), the Narsingdi District Meteorological Office has documented 280 mm of rainfall within the region. 

This measurement markedly exceeds the average rainfall recorded in the same month of the previous year.

According to Humayun Kabir Talukder, who oversees the Narsingdi Meteorological Office, the belated monsoon has resulted in substantial rainfall over the past 20 days. Forecasts predict further rainfall in the upcoming week, auguring well for the ongoing Aman cultivation efforts.

Narsingdi's Agriculture Extension Directorate's Additional Deputy Director (Cereals), Md. Salahuddin Tipu, told the Daily Messenger, "The rainfall has accelerated Aman planting. Although farmers had initially turned to alternate irrigation methods, most were actually awaiting the arrival of rain. To date, around 50 percent of the targeted rice planting has been accomplished.

Aman can continue to be sown until September 15th."