RAJSHAHI, May 07: Hundreds of acres of standing Boro paddy have been plunged underwater at the Beel Kalam of Tanore upazila. Due to incessant rain and on rush of water from surrounding land on last Monday, Wednesday and Saturday night, an unprecedented water logging has been created at the beel which have plunged all standing paddy waiting to be harvested within a couples of days. Now, with those plunged and sub-merged paddy, farmers of the upazila have turned crazy to reap those and the crisis is so acute even offering a half of the reaped paddy as wages, farm labourers were not available there to work.
It is learnt, the devastating storm, hail and rain on last Monday and incessant rainfall, strong wind of last Wednesday and Saturday night caused on rush of water in Beel Kumari, a water body consisting of several thousand acres of area, where Boro paddy is cultivated during the dry season. This year, the condition of paddy cultivated in the beel was very satisfactory and farmers were hoping to get a bumper crop as within a couples of day the paddy was ready to be reaped. But all their hoped dashed due to untimely, heavy rainfall and storm which plunged the paddy of the entire beel area.
Now, the crisis of farm labourers is driving the farmers crazy who need to reap those sub-merged paddy from underwater. Only a few labourers agreed to reap the paddy by trampling muddy water. Those who reluctantly agreed to cut those were demanding a high wages even a half or two third of the reaped paddy. Getting no available labourers, many farmers with their family members were seen to visit the fields to cut only the sheaf of the paddy leaving the straw behind.
Ashraful Islam, a farmer of Pachnandar village said, it was beyond their apprehension that there will be so heavy rainfall at this time of the season. The hail and storm on Monday had caused damage to the crop but the on rush of water created by heavy rainfall of Wednesday last was a severe blow on the standing crop. The entire beel was covered by water plunging the crops of thousands of acres of land.
According to sources, from underneath the Kuthipara to Gubirpara, Dhantoir, Gokulkgram, from Talanda union to Labiyatola bridge ripe paddy of thousands of acres of land have been plunged under water. The paddy fields of hundreds of farmers in Kamargaon, Parihso, Sreekhando, Bataspur, Madaripur, Jamsedpur, Malsira villages have been inaudated under flood water. Paddy of two bigha of land each of Shaon, Latif , Zillur, Moti, Asan, five bigha of Shaheb and one bigha of Samad of Gubirpara village have been devastated by flash flood. They informed, the water of the beel was continuing to rise. Rainwater from both north and south side was entering the beel and water and now the beel of full of waist to knee deep water.
Abdur Rahim, Vice Chairman of Tanore upazila informed, the onrush of water created by heavy rainfall for last one week has inundated most of standing paddy of farmers at Kalam beel. He further said, such heavy rainfall during this time is unpredictable. There was an excellent growth of paddy elsewhere in the upazila and farmers expected a bumper production of the crop. But, all their hope has now been dashed to uncertainty. He added, not only paddy of the been has been destroyed but also paddy of low-lying land has also been plunged in accumulated heavy rainfall. He mentioned, some sheaf of paddy are still floating on water but due to labour crisis those paddy could not be reaped.
Agriculture Officer of Tanore Shafiqul Islam informed, so far as the information available, crop( paddy) of 215 hectares of land have been inundated by untimely flood caused by rain and paddy of 485 hectares have been damaged by hailstorm. The actual figure of damage would be far greater, he mentioned adding that due to acute labour shortages, the farmers could not reap their paddy from the plunged water.
Shaokat Ali, Upazila Nirbahi Officer of Tanore informed, the agriculture officer has been directed to prepare a list of affected farmer and whenever the final list will be prepared, it will be sent to the concerned ministry seeking government assistance for those affected farmers.
Meanwhile, our Magura correspondent adds: Boro cultivators of the district are in difficult situation as labour crisis and waterlogging are hampering harvest of the crop.
Sources said the district experienced heavy rainfall during the last three days as a result a good number of Boro land has been facing waterlogging. It is tough to continue harvesting activities in an inundated land. On the other hand, extreme labour crisis is also another problem here. Many paddy cultivators cannot harvest their ripen crop for the shortage of day labourers.
The Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE), Magura, sources said some 44,150 hectares of land have been brought under the farming of Boro.
Farmer Golam Hossein of Akshi village under Magura Sadar said he has cultivated Boro paddy on five bighas of land. "I am looking for some farm labourers to harvest my crop. But most of the workers do not agree to work in my waterlogged land", he added.
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