Cyclone Bulbul destroyed crops worth Tk 2.63 billion, says agriculture minister

Tuesday, 12 November 2019

The government has estimated crop losses from Cyclone Bulbul at Tk 2.63 billion, says Agriculture Muhammad Abdur Razzaque.

“At least 72,212 tonnes of crops have been destroyed and 289,006 hectares of land have been damaged, which accounts for 14 percent of the country’s total farmland,” he said in a news briefing on Tuesday.

The storm also damaged 22,836 hectares of non-agricultural land, he said adding that the storm had an effect on 103 upazilas in 16 districts.

At least 50,503 farmers have been affected by the cyclone, Razzaque said.

However, he played down the fears that the damage caused by the cyclone would affect the market.

“There was extra production of Boro and Aman in the last season. We’re expecting a good harvest of Aman paddy this season, as the harvesting just began. Also, we’re expecting limited fungal attacks on paddies this time.”

The ministry will adopt an agriculture rehabilitation programme in the affected areas as soon as it receives the allocation from the finance ministry, said Razzaque, bdnews24.com reports.

“The amount of allocation to the farmers will be decided later after necessary calculation. The farmers may use the seeds from BADC to produce mustard and khesari again.”

The storm made landfall near Sagar Islands in West Bengal's South 24 Parganas district with its status downgraded to “severe” from “very severe” about 9pm on Saturday as the gale wind speed dropped to about 115-125km per hour.

The cyclone -- later downgraded to a deep depression -- ravaged about 5,000 homes in Bangladesh’s south-western coastal districts. Trees were uprooted and winter crops were damaged by the storm.

The health directorate's Health Emergency Operation Centre and Control Room, local administrations and police confirmed 13 deaths in the storm on Sunday.