Flooding causes huge crop losses

ANM Mohibub Uz Zaman

9th October, 2020 10:45:57 printer

Flooding causes huge crop losses

The ongoing fourth phase of the flood has inundated around 1.44 lakh hectors of cropland, affecting farmers on top of the negative impact coronavirus pandemic.

The prolonged floods may affect the production of Aman rice, winter vegetables and some other crops in 24 districts this year, said sources at the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE). 

After the damage to crops caused by the first three phases of the flood, the fourth phase of the flood is affecting the recovery process. 

Aman is the second most important staple food of the country and its accounts for more than 38 per cent of the country’s total rice production.

Dr. Md. Abdul Muyeed, Director General of Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE), said more than 1 lakh hectors of Aman paddy have been inundated by the floods while 50 per cent of the paddy fields may have been totally damaged. 

“Many vegetables fields have also been affected by the fourth phase of the flood,” he said.

“We are providing all kinds of support to farmers for minimizing the crop losses,” said the DAE DG, adding that farmers can cultivate alternative crops in the aman fields which have been damaged by the flood. 

The fourth phases of flood-hit in late September when thousands of farmers have been cultivating crops.

Then there were thousands of others who just had their land ready for cultivation after having spent money and labour in removing tons of mud and debris the previous flood had brought to their land.

The DG of DAE said they are yet to finalize the assessment of crops losses.

Earlier, the three phases of the flood had damaged crops worth Tk 13.23 billion in 37 affected districts across the country.

More than 1.272151 million farmers were affected by the flood caused by heavy rainfall and onrush of upstream water from India. 

Crops of a total 2, 57,148 hectors of land have been inundated by the flooding while crops on 1, 58,814 hectors of land were damaged.

The losses include Aus paddy worth Tk 3.34 billion on 32,213 hectares of land, Aman paddy worth Tk 3.80 billion on 70,820 hectares of land and Aman seedbed on 7,917 hectares of land, vegetable worth Tk 1.35 billion and jute worth Tk 2.11 billion. 

In the first phase of flooding, crops on 41,918 hectares of land across 14 districts were damaged from Jun 25 to July 9.

At least 343,957 farmers were left counting heavy losses while crops worth Tk 3.49 billion were destroyed, the agriculture minister earlier said.

In the second and third phases of floods from July 11 to Aug 12 ruined 14 types of crops on 116,896 hectares of land in 37 districts, the minister said, adding that crops worth Tk 9.74 billion were damaged and 9,29,194 farmers were affected. 

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Agriculture has announced various incentive packages to help the flood-affected farmers get back on their feet.

The government has distributed free vegetable seeds among 239,631 farmers under the Tk 175 million Agriculture Rehabilitation Programme.