In the absence of any protection embankment, saline water from the Tentulia River frequently floods the cultivable lands belonging to the country's largest seed firm set up by Bangladesh Agricultural Development Corporation in Dashmina upazila under Patuakhali district, badly affecting the yield. PHOTO: STAR
Cultivation in the country's largest seed firm covering 1,044 acres of land in Dashmina upazila under the district is greatly hampered as saline water from nearby Tentulia River regularly floods the area due to lack of flood control embankment.
Around 60 acres of land of the firm set up by Bangladesh Agriculture Development Corporation (BADC) has already been washed away due to river erosion.
The farm meant for producing salinity tolerant and hybrid varieties of crop seeds would eventually cover 4,271 areas of land at Char Botham, Char Fatima, Char Hyder, Char Shahjalal, Char Saimon, Char Borhan and Char Bashbaria in Dashmina upazila, BADC sources said.
The district administration primarily acquired 1,271 acres of land for the purpose and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina formally opened the project on March 19 last year.
The authorities have already brought 1,044 acres of land under cultivation to produce seeds at a cost of Tk 245 crore.
In last year, 852 acres of land was cultivated to produce seeds of paddy on 382 acres, mustard on 80 acres, mug bean on 100 acres, lentil on 240 acres and sesame (locally called til) on 50 acres of land.
Of them, production of paddy seeds amounting to 280 tonnes was satisfactory while the production target of other seeds could not be achieved.
It happened as most of the land was flooded by saline water from nearby Tentulia River during high tides influenced by the new moon and the full moon, said Md Sajedur Rahman, deputy director of the project.
"We have sent a proposal to the ministry concerned for acquisition of more 3,000 acres of land to extend the project area," he added.
"We have already sent seeds of paddy, sunflower, maize, wheat, lentil, and mustard produced at the farm to the processing centre in Dhaka for marketing. Building of flood control embankments is essential for smooth cultivation in the firm areas," said Md Nannu Mia, deputy assistant director of the project.