Tuesday, 27 September, 2022

Flood warning spurs paddy harvest in Sunamganj haors

Hundreds of farmers in Sunamganj’s haor areas started harvesting paddy after getting an early flood warning from the district administration and local weather office.

Warned by local weather office about untimely heavy rain, the district administration recently announced over loudspeaker that untimely flood may damage the crops in the haor area.

But labour shortage amid the ongoing holidays to contain transmission of coronavirus, has become a major headache for the farmers desperate to save their crops.

Visiting several haors in the district on Sunday, the UNB correspondent saw farmers and their children busy harvesting. In many cases, voluntary organisations and students were helping the farmers.

Sources at Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) said they expect a production of 12 lakh tonnes of Boro paddy from 219,300 hectares in the district.

Meanwhile, Abu Syed Chowdhury, meteorologist, Sylhet Weather Office, said about 200mm rain may occur in between April 17 and 21 according to the meteorological calculation. That may be the reason of an unwanted flood in the haor region, he added.

Warned by the meteorologist, the district administration has been encouraging local farmers to harvest paddy as soon as possible to save it from flood.

Farmer Mahbubur Rahman of Shalla Upazila said he has already started harvesting Boro paddy from 100 decimals of land. “I’ll finish harvesting within the next five to six days if the weather remains favourable,” he added.

Farmer Khairul Bashar Khan of Dharmapasha upazila said they are facing a shortage of labourers.

He said the local workers are taking advantage of the situation and hiked their wages.

Farmer Akmal Ali of Shanir Haor area said labourers from outside the district have already arrived for harvesting paddy but their number is not enough.

 He urged the DAE to arrange harvester machines to help the farmers.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Saturday said Bangladesh would not face any food crisis “if we can harvest the paddy properly (this season)”. She said it was an opportunity for day-labourers to earn money from paddy harvesting.

On Monday, she said the coronavirus will trigger a food shortage and may also cause a global famine. She said more food grains will be produced in Bangladesh in the coming days.

Hasina said the government will procure 8 lakh metric tonnes of paddy, 10 lakh metric tonnes of rice, 2,20,000 metric tonnes of atap (fine rice) and 80,000 metric tonnes of wheat.

"So, there’ll be no problem of food in Bangladesh in the future," she said.