RANGPUR, Sept 09: Cultivation of Aman paddy and different varieties of vegetables is seriously being hindered in Rangpur agriculture region this year as a drought like situation has been prevailing in the region for the last three weeks.
According to the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) Rangpur official sources, this year farmers cultivated Aman paddy on around 5,37,000 hectares of land in five districts under the region. The districts are Rangpur, Kurigram, Gaibandha, Nilphamari and Lalmonirhat.
Due to adequate rainfall during farming time, cultivation of Aman paddy generally requires less irrigation. But this year many farmers in the district are watering their fields with electric or diesel-run pumps for the purpose as the rainfall is scarce.
Small rivers, beels, canals, ponds and other water bodies of the region have almost dried up hindering the irrigation process making the farmers apprehensive about the production of their produce.
According to sources, exorbitant prices of Aman saplings disheartened the peasants in many areas while growth of transplanted seedlings is hampered owing to paucity of water.
It is learnt that solvent farmers are being able to use own power pumps to irrigate Aman fields, but small and marginal are compelled to pay Tk 90 to 150 per hour for irrigation, which will significantly increase the production cost.
Maminul, a farmer of Andarkota village under Mithapukur upazila in Rangpur said they have to spend additional Tk 1500 to 2000 for irrigation to cultivate Aman paddy on a bigha of land this season.
Asadul Mia, another farmer of Badlagari village of Sadullapur upazila in Gaibandha district said he planted Aman seedlings on two bighas of land, which he had to buy at higher prices.
Now he has to count additional cost for irrigation to save the seedlings but water in the field dries quickly owing to scorching heat of the sun.
Due to lack of rain farmers are suffering much, he added.
Meanwhile, Vegetable cultivation is also facing a setback in the region owing to lack of rainfall.
Raihan Mia, an eggplant grower of Chhilimpur village of Pirganj upazila in Rangpur said that they have been facing difficulties this season in farming vegetables due to scanty rainfall.
If this situation continues they will not be able to get good yield as well as satisfactory profit from their produces, he added.
A good number of vegetable cultivators said drought is causing serious harm to vegetable cultivation across the region. Because of the adverse circumstances production of the crop may decline this season, growers apprehended.
Rangpur DAE officials said Aman and different vegetables cultivation are facing setback in many areas owing to insufficient rainfall. At present, mostly the solvent farmers are able to irrigate their lands by pump but the poor farmers are facing difficulties.
DAE has already taken initiative to motivate farmers for irrigating their lands. In the flood affected districts DAE has started distribution of Aman seedlings among the flood-hit farmers free of cost to increase areas of Aman farming this season, sources added.
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