POST TIME: 9 December, 2019 08:46:19 PM
Aman harvesting begins in Bhola

Aman harvesting begins in Bhola

Farmers busy with harvesting and threshing paddy in Char Annanda village of Bhola Sadar. independent photo

Transplanted Aman paddy harvesting has already started and farmers are selling the produce at prices lower than the production cost. They fear they would suffer huge losses as they did last year despite getting a good yield this season.

During a visit to the Ilisha union of Bhola Sadar, it was found that the farmers were busy harvesting paddy. But they expressed dissatisfaction over its market price.

Farmer Bashir Ahamed of Char Annanda village told this correspondent that he had cultivated Aman paddy on five acres of land. He added that he spent Tk 18 to Tk 20 to produce each kg of paddy but was selling at Tk 13 to Tk 14 per kg to middlemen.

According to the department of agriculture extension office of Bhola district, Aman paddy was cultivated on 1.74 lakh hectares of land with a production target of over 5 lakh metric tons in seven upazilas this season. Most of the farmers sell the paddy during the season and later buy rice from the market for their own consumption, sources say.

Binod Krishna Devnath, the deputy director of agriculture extension, Bhola, said that due to a steady decline in the price of paddy and rice, the farmers of the district were losing interest in paddy cultivation.

Aman farmer Habib ullah and Seraj Sikder of Ilisha village said that paddy harvesting would be completed in the next 15 days. They alleged that due the mismanagement of the government’s food and agriculture department, the paddy procurement drive was yet to begin in Bhola.

When contacted, district food officials said that their procurement target for Aman paddy and rice had been fixed at 17,000 metric tons and 2000 metric tons respectively. But they were yet start the procurement drive, though it was scheduled to commence from November 20.

The reason cited for the delay is that the agriculture department is yet to prepare a list of farmers.

The Bhola sadar upazila agriculture office has submitted online names of only 370 farmers to meet a target of 2,491 metric tons of paddy.

But locals say it is impossible procure so much paddy from so few farmers.

Food department official say that they expect to start the procurement within the next 15 days after getting the list of farmers.