LALMONIRHAT: Boro harvest began in the district. But the growers are facing serious problems for want of farm labourers and their high wages.
Due to shortage of labourers, the wages of the available ones have gone high. Local farmers alleged that a day labourer charges Tk 3,000-3,500 to harvest paddy of one bigha of land and another Tk 3,000-4,000 for thrashing.
Zahangir Hossain, a farmer of Aditmari upazila, said, "The cost of harvesting is becoming higher day by day."
"We urge the government to look into the matter and ensure fair price of paddy so that its production cost does not go beyond its selling price, he added.
Visiting some areas of the district, this correspondent found that untimely rain affected this year's Boro production.
Abed Ali, another farmer of Aditmari upazila, said this year's production is not up to their expectation.
"Heavy rain is the main reason of the low production," he added.
Farmers are worried about the production.
According to Boro grower Abdul Rashid, one maund of paddy is now being sold at Tk 800.
"But it was Tk 1000 last year. I do not know how farmers will survive," he added.
According to the officials of Department of Agriculture and Extension (DAE), Lalmonirhat, farmers have cultivated Boro paddy on 47,115 hectares of land in five upazilas of the district.
Normally, 15-16 maunds of paddy are produced in one bigha of land but due to heavy rain, the production has fallen to 12-14 maunds this year, they said.
Hamidur Rahman, Deputy Director (DD) of the Lalmonirhat DAE, said, "The weather was not favourable this year for Boro paddy. Untimely rain has affected paddy fields in some low-lying areas. But the production on high lands is very good."