An aman field at Narayangazi village in Jessore Sadar upazila dries up due to lack of rain during the ongoing monsoon. PHOTO: STAR
Aman cultivation in the ongoing peak sowing season is badly hampered amid insufficient rain in the district as farmers are reluctant to bear the high costs for irrigation.
The Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) office in Jessore recorded 40 millimetres of rainfall from July 1 to 25 this year while it was 184 millimetres during the same period last year.
Dependent of rainwater during this season, cultivation of aman paddy usually do not require any irrigation.
But this year many farmers in the district are watering their fields with electric or diesel-run pumps for the purpose as the rainfall is much less than usual.
The target of aman cultivation in the district this season is 1 lakh 29 thousand 624 hectares of land but only 29 thousand 130 hectares have been brought under the cultivation till July 25, said sources of DAE in Jessore.
During the same period last year, aman was sown on over one lakh hectares of land, they said.
Sowing of aman paddy starts early July and continues till late August.
"Insufficient rainfall is hampering aman cultivation during the ongoing peak sowing season. Now the farmers are sowing paddy by watering their land with pumps," said Hossain Iqbal, deputy director of Khulna Divisional Agricultural Office.
He, however, hoped that the target will be achieved as the sowing will continue till August.
Jessore district produces over six lakh tonnes of aman paddy a year.
"After preparing the aman seedbed we can wait highest 40 days to sow the seedlings in the field. As the seedlings are getting too matured for sowing, many of us have started sowing seedlings with irrigation due to the insufficient rainfall this season," said Babul Akter, a farmer of Shalkona village under Sharsa upazila in Jessore.
Aminur Rahman of Dehi village under the same upazila said they have to spend additional Tk 1000/ 1200 for irrigation to cultivate aman paddy on a bigha of land this season.