Boro harvest begins in haor

Low prices of paddy frustrate farmers

FE Report | Published: April 18, 2019 14:58:26 | Updated: April 20, 2019 11:28:10

FE file photo used only for representation

Boro harvest has started in haor and lowland areas across the country with a prospect for a bumper yield, but the persisting low prices of paddy has frustrated the growers.

Boro contributes more than 55 per cent to total rice output.

Newly harvested paddy is selling at only Tk 500-Tk 550 a maund (40 kilograms) in haor and lowland areas across the country for the last one and a half weeks, according to Department of Agricultural Marketing (DAM).

The government, however, estimated the average production cost of paddy at Tk 880 a maund this year.

Porag Hossain, a farmer at Khagra union under Purbadhala in Netrakona district, told the FE over cell phone that they started harvesting of Boro paddy in the first week of April.

"Production is good, but the price of paddy fell steeply," said Porag who has already completed harvesting of paddy on five bighas of land.

He got a total of 126 maunds of paddy at a cost of Tk 88,000, but its market price is now hardly Tk 68,000, he added.

According to the monitoring unit of Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE), the government has set target to produce 19.62 million tonnes of rice on 4.842 million hectares of land during this Boro season.

A total of 4.84 million hectares of land have been brought into Boro farming and 10 per cent harvest has been completed by April 15.

The country produced a record 19.5 million tonnes of rice last year.

Deputy Director of monitoring unit Dr Alhaj Uddin Ahmed said the country is going to get another bumper rice production this Boro season amid persisting favourable weather conditions.

He said the farmers cultivated rice on 0.34 million hectares of land in haor areas of six districts under Mymensingh, Dhaka and Sylhet divisions during the current season.

As per the field reports, he said, the growers are getting more than 3.99 tonnes of paddy from each hectare of land.

Boro harvest will start in full swing across the country from mid-May and will continue until mid-July, he added.

Prof Golam Hafiz Kennedy, an agri economist, said the farmers suffered loss also in Aman season.

He said Aman paddy was even selling at Tk 700-Tk 720 a maund which is much below of the average production cost set by the government (Tk 880 a maund).

A nexus of big millers and their allied traders is dominating the market, depriving both the farmers and consumers of fair price, he added.

Even the farmers have no access to the government's rice procurement, he observed.

The same people (millers and traders) were benefiting from the total government rice purchase, he said.

However, the government will start its Boro rice procurement drive from May 01, 2019.

It has set target to procure 1.1 million tonnes of rice and 0.15 million tonnes of paddy.


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