Cold threatens crops

ANM Mohibub Uz Zaman

9th January, 2020 11:57:56 printer

Cold threatens crops

The cold wave coupled with dense fog sweeping the country threatens different seasonal crops and Boro seedlings, experts said.

They said the Boro seedlings can turn yellow and subsequently die in severe cold weather.

Mustard, lentil and grass pea can be attacked by fungus during severe cold, tomatoes and potato may be affected by late blight diseases, battle leaf may fall and mango flower may get damaged during a cold wave, according to the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE).

Farmers have been asked to protect their seedlings from the cold by covering those with polythene in the daytime to increase temperature, but keep open at night.

If the cold wave and fog continue for a long period, then the farmer must use insecticide and pour water into Boro seedbed.

Chandi Das Kundu, field service wing director of Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE), told the daily sun that if the current cold wave continued for 10 days, then it can affect crops, but the farmers can save their crops by adopting different.

He said his field officers are providing support to the farmers and help them save their crops.

Abdul Hamid, a farmer at Kumarkhali in Kushtia, told the daily sun that he is worried about his Boro field as the seedlings have turned yellow due to the cold wave though he has taken protective measures.

Former BRRI Director General Jibon Krishna Biswas said Boro seedlings may turn yellow due to severe cold wave and fog and the farmers need to water the seedlings to protect them from damage.

Farmers in the haor areas are facing difficulties in growing Boro seedlings during this cold weather, he said.

Boro seed has been planted on 2.21 lakh hectares of land, out of 2.29 lakh hectares, till December 31 that is 96 percent of the target, according to the DAE. The DAE has fixed a target of producing 2.03 crore tonnes of rice from 48.66 lakh hectares of land.

Damage to saplings due to cold weather is not uncommon, but this season it has become serious.

The country is shivering with freezing cold which left over a dozen people dead and hundreds infected with various cold-related diseases.

If the intensity of the cold wave increases, it will badly affect the crop output, agricultural experts said.

The country may witnesses another one or two spells of severe cold spell this month, the Met Office has predicted earlier.

The mild cold wave is sweeping over Rangpur division and the regions of Rajshahi, Jashore, Chuadanga and Tangail and it may abate, said a meteorologist of Bangladesh Meteorological Department (BMD).

Weather may remain mainly dry with temporary cloudy sky over the country. Moderate to thick fog may occur over the country during midnight till morning.

Ferry services on the key Paturia-Daulatdia route in the Padma river resumed after an eight-hour suspension on Wednesday morning as visibility improved.

Zillur Rahman, deputy general manager of Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Corporation (BIWTC), said the authorities concerned kept ferry services suspended from around 2:00am because of poor visibility.

The ferry services resumed around 10:00am after the fog lifted.

Five ferries had remained stranded in the middle of the river while 300 vehicles were stuck at the Paturia terminal, causing immense suffering for commuters.