Shortage of workers hinders Boro paddy harvesting in Sirajganj

Published : 24 Apr 2023 08:38 PM

Boro paddy harvesting has started in Tarash upazila of Sirajganj district. Currently, farmers are busy harvesting and threshing paddy. Boro farmers are also happy with the bumper paddy yield. However, the local farmers are faced with the shortage of rice harvesting workers at the beginning of paddy harvesting.

According to the Tarash Upazila Directorate of Agriculture, in the current Boro season, in eight unions and one municipal area of the upazila, about 24 thousand 500 hectares of land are cultivated with different varieties of Boro rice, including BRRI 29, BRRI 28, BRRI-89, BRRI-90, Kataribhog, Suballata, and other local varieties.

Farmers of Tarash upazila have been able to cultivate Boro paddy comfortably this year as there is no problem with fertilizer, diesel and electricity. At present, in the second week of the month of Baisakh, harvesting of early Boro paddy has started in the crop fields of different villages of the upazila and threshing of new Boro paddy has started in the farmer's yard. Along with that, bumper yield is also matching, said Abbas-uz-Zaman, a farmer of Tarutia village. Besides, he also said that the price of newly grown paddy is getting good in the market.

Mozahar Ali, another farmer of Gonta village of the upazila, said that all the varieties of paddy that are currently being harvested, including Kataribhog, are yielding at the rate of 18-26 mounds per bigha, depending on the type. However, farmers claim that some varieties of rice, including hybrids, yield more. However, due to Eid and heat, there is also a shortage of paddy-cutting workers in the area, he said.

On this side, the farmers of the upazila are faced with labor shortage in order to harvest the paddy quickly. And to deal with the labor crisis, many local farmers are looking for paddy cutting workers, specially  in Chatmohar, Bhangura, Nakalia Bara in Pabna, Shahjadpur area of Sirajganj where paddy cutting workers are found. The farmers are making advance payments with the laborers for paddy harvesting by making inquiries there.

On the other hand, Abdul Malek Talukdar, a farmer of Madhdakshina village, said that at present, depending on the distance of the land from the farmer's house, he has started harvesting paddy by paying 5 to 7 kg of paddy per mound. And they are harvesting paddy at Tk 1,800 to Tk 2,500 per bigha. But in the upazila, paddy can be harvested with a harvester machine at a cost of Tk 2,000 per bigha, but as most of the straw is wasted, many people are harvesting paddy with agricultural laborers, thinking about the cattle feed. So the demand for agricultural labor is high.

In this context, Tarash Upazila Agriculture Officer Abdullah Al Mamun said that early rice harvesting has started in the upazila. And even if the arrival of workers is delayed due to Eid, the required workers will be available within three or four days.

He also said that we are advising the farmers to harvest paddy quickly and till now the farmers are getting bumper yield of Boro paddy in all the lands where Boro paddy is being harvested. We hope that if there is no natural calamity in the current Boro season, the upazila will produce more food crops than the target.