RAJSHAHI: The government has set a target to purchase around 2.24 lakh tonnes of Boro paddy during the current procurement season that will contribute a lot towards ensuring food security amidst the Covid-19 pandemic.
As part of its ongoing Boro paddy procurement drive, the government will procure the food grain from all eight districts in Rajshahi division until August 16 like other parts of the country.Faruque Hossain Patwary, regional controller of Food, said they have started rice procurement drive at Taka 40 per kilogram everywhere in the division since Friday last.
Meanwhile, the grassroots farmers have started harvesting and threshing Boro paddy in full-swing with satisfactory yield and market price everywhere in the region including its vast Barind tract.
At present, many of the farmers are seen reaping some high yielding and short duration varieties like BR-28, Brridhan-81 and Brridhan-86. The other varieties will be cut within the next few weeks as most of the paddy in the fields is now at the ripening stage, reports BSS.
Muhammad Moniruzzaman, a farmer of Bijoynagar village under Godagari upazila, is now happy with his satisfactory production of paddy. He has harvested 20 to 22 maunds of paddy from a bigha of land.
“I have completed harvesting and threshing of my paddy of two bighas of land three days ago,” said another farmer Ahammed Hossain of Krishnapur village in Tanore upazila.
He has got 21 maunds of paddy from each bigha of land even after paying the labourers 20 kilograms of paddy for each 100kgs of paddy for harvesting and threshing purposes. Hossain is very much hopeful about earning a good profit by selling paddy as its price in the market is also satisfactory.He said the newly harvested paddy is being sold at Taka 1,030 to 1,055 per maund in the local markets.
Hossain said prolonged drought and absence of rainfall increased the cost of irrigation but the pest infestation in the paddy was less due to drought that is why the production of paddy was good this year.
Sub Assistant Agriculture Officer Atanu Sarker said that the farmers are now delighted over their yield, adding: “Suitable climate conditions and government support to the farmers are being adjudged as the main reasons behind the good yield.”
Meanwhile, the Boro farming has exceeded the target by 6,783 hectares of land in Rajshahi division this season as the farmers have cultivated paddy on more lands compared to the previous season because they are happy with the selling price of transplanted Aman paddy at present.
Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) has set the target of producing 35.24 lakh tonnes of paddy from 8.10 lakh hectares of land in all eight districts of the Rajshahi division during the current season.
But the farmers have brought 8.17 lakh hectares of land generating scopes of additional rice production, officials said.
Sirajul Islam, additional director of the DAE, said 24,600 small and marginal farmers were given support with seed and fertilisers in the division under the government’s agriculture incentive programme to boost the Boro paddy production.
Currently, businessmen and wholesalers purchase paddy and straw from the farmers’ field directly as the grassroots growers are being benefited in many ways, said Hossain.
He added that the price of both paddy and rice during the previous Boro, Aush and Aman seasons were seen increased as a result of government-level rice procurement drives inspiring the farmers to cultivate Boro paddy on more lands.
In the previous year, farmers have produced 34.23 lakh tonnes of Boro paddy from 8.03 lakh hectares of land in all eight districts under Rajshahi division.