Although Boro paddy in haror areas of Sunamganj is almost ripe, farmers are worried about its harvesting due to the crisis of farm workers amid partial lockdown in different parts of the country and suspension of transport movement following coronavirus outbreak.
As coronavirus cases continue to rise claiming lives, many villages and areas in cities are gradually being brought under lockdown by the local administration concerned.During a recent visit to the haro areas in the district, the UNB correspondent found the farmers of the haor areas preparing to harvest Boro crops and many have already started doing so.
Talking to UNB, some farmers said they are not getting workers for harvesting paddy this time despite offering advance payment.
Local people said once people from Narsingdi, Noakhali, Pabna, Bogura, Faridpur, Brahmanbaria and Mymensingh districts used to come to the district for paddy harvesting but for the last few years they are not coming due to damage of crops and losses.
The farmers are counting extra money due to the shortage of workers.
Another concern of the haor farmers is rainwater as it submerges the croplands.
Mubin Chowdhury, a farmer of Tangri Haor, said, “I’ve contacted many people but the number of workers is very few against the demand and those who want to do the job are demanding more money with food twice a day. As a result, I’ve to spend extra money.”He urged the government to provide harvesting machines so that they could harvest their crops timely.
Selim Mia, a farmer in Chaptir Haor, said, “We get crops in our haor areas once a year and we all have to depend on it.”
“Our major concern is rain and the low-lying haro areas get inundated with the start of monsoon. If we fail to harvest our paddy in time then we’ll face huge losses,” he said adding that is why all the farmers are trying to harvest their crops in time.
The Ministry of Agriculture on Thursday asked the authorities concerned to take steps to continue the process of harvesting paddy in the haor areas as well as marketing it and production of other crops amid coronavirus crisis by ensuring workers’ safety.