Amid the crisis of farm labourers due to the ongoing lockdown, leaders and activists of the associate bodies of the ruling Awami League have started helping farmers across the country harvest their Boro paddy.
Awami League men joined hands with farmers in Boro harvesting as party President and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina instructed them to assist farmers in cutting paddy.The directive came taking into account the last year’s serous labour crisis which caused immense sufferings for the farmers in bringing home their hard-earned produce from the fields.
Awami League general secretary Obaidul Quader on Monday urged the leaders of the party’s associate bodies to help the farmers in harvesting paddy.
“After the harvest, the paddy should be carried to the farmers’ houses if necessary,” he said.
During the first wave of corona pandemic last year, leaders and activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL), Jubo League, Swechchhasebak League, Krishak League and other associate bodies of Awami League joined their hand for harvesting paddy to meet the demand of farm labours.
Like the previous year, associate bodies of the ruling party, including Krishak League, Jubo League, Swechchhasebak League, have started joining their hands with farmers in paddy harvesting as per the directive of the party high command.
Chhatra League, the student wing of the Awami League, does not have any plan in this regard.On Friday, central leaders of Swechchhasebak League, including its president Nirmal Ranjan Guha and general secretary Afzalur Rahman Babu assisted farmers in harvesting paddy in Arialbil of Munshiganj.
Swechchhasebak League helped Abul Bepari, a farmer of Arialbil, harvest Boro paddy on some six bighas of land and carried it to his family.
“We are ready to help farmers across the country like the previous year. All grass roots leaders and activists have been asked to help farmers in their areas,” Babu told the Daily Sun.
Krishak League activists on Thursday joined farmers in harvesting paddy in haor areas of Karimganj Upazila in Kishoreganj in presence of its president Samir Chanda and general secretary Umme Kulsum Smriti.
Later, the Krishak League leaders also joined paddy harvesting in Netrokona, Tangail, Cumilla, Gazipur, Manikganj, Chandpur and Laxmipur,
office secretary of Krishak League Rezaul Karim Reza said.
“The central committee leaders are also scheduled to join Boro harvesting in Sunamganj and Habiganj haor areas on Saturday and Sunday,” he added.
On Thursday, Jubo League in a press release directed its grassroots leaders and activists to help farmers harvest Boro paddy the way it had assisted farmers last year.
“Jubo League leaders have already started helping farmers in Chandpur, Moulvibazar, Khulna, Gazipur, Sunamganj and Narail areas,” Joydeb Nandee, publicity secretary of the youth wing of the ruling party, said.
“A monitoring team will be formed soon to look after Jubo League’s paddy harvesting activities,” he said.
According to the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE), some 3.5 per cent of Boro harvesting at 48,38,500 hectors of land has been completed across the country till Friday.
Sources at the Ministry of Agriculture said some 40 per cent of Boro paddy has already been harvested in the main Haor region while 25 per cent has been harvested in seven districts including haor and adjacent districts.
Boro had been cultivated on a total of 9,46,534 hectares of land in seven haor districts – Kishorganj, Netrokona, Sunamganj, Moulvibazar, Sylhet, Habiganj and Brahmanbaria.