Rangpur, Bogura Boro growers suffer for shortage of labour

Our Correspondent | Published: May 10, 2018 21:17:40

RANGPUR, May 10: Severe dearth of day-labourers has been affecting the harvesting of Boro paddy in eight upazilas of the district this year.

According to sources a good number of farm labourers of the region have gone to Bogura, Rajshahi, Natore Sylhet, Cumilla and other areas of the country for working in the paddy fields during the ongoing harvest season, as a result crisis of labourer has become severe in the region.

It is learnt that after harvesting Boro, it needs to be threshed soon. So, a lot of workers are required to paddy harvest. But the farmers have been facing acute worker scarcity recently. Again, the wages of the farm labourers have increased for the labourer crisis. Farmers said each of the farm labour had been paid Tk 300 to Tk 350 per day last year. But this year, the wage has increased to Tk 400 to Tk 450.

Besides, farm labourers are eager to harvest on contract basis and the rate for harvesting and threshing of paddy per bigha of land stands at Tk 3,000 to Tk 4,000, depending on category of land. Farmer Joynal Miand,Md Helal Mia Badarganj upazila echoed the same tone. Many growers are delaying harvest owing to labour shortage.

Farmer Akkas Ali (48) at Talimganj village under Mithapukur upazila, said this year they have to pay higher wages to the day labourers for paddy harvest because of scarcity of labourers.

Maminul of Kaunia upazila, who returned after working there for several weeks as a farm labourer, said they get Tk 700 to Tk 800 plus meal daily for harvesting Boro paddy on per bigha land in Rajshahi but in Rangpur the farmers give them only Tk 300 to Tk 400 per day that is why they are interested to go there for work, he added.

The Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) sources said around 1,33,160 hectares of land were brought under Boro cultivation in eight upazilas under the district this season.

Meanwhile, our Bogura correspondent adds: Acute shortage of day labourers is hampering Boro production in the district.

Sources said paddy farmers want to complete harvest before the monsoon. But shortage of work hands is slowing the activity.

Meanwhile, farmers of Adamdighi, Sariakandi, Sonatola and Dhunot areas of the district generally grow Boro on vast tract of land. But they are now worried as farm labourers are not available.

According to the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE), around 1, 92,500 hectares of land have been brought under the farming of Boro in the district this season.

Farmer Shahidul Islam of Gunaher village under Dupchanchia upazila said growers are getting a good yield this season. Shortage of farm labourers is increasing the production cost.

"I had to spend Tk 4,000 to harvest paddy on two bighas of land," he added.

Deputy Director of DAE Protul Chadra Sarker said labour crisis hits Boro harvest this season.

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