• Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Scanty rain worries aman farmers

Star Country Desk
Tired of waiting for rain water for T-aman cultivation, a farmer at Kanaikata village in Niphamari Sadar upazila finally arranges costly irrigation with power pumps. PHOTO: STAR
Tired of waiting for rain water for T-aman cultivation, a farmer at Kanaikata village in Niphamari Sadar upazila finally arranges costly irrigation with power pumps. PHOTO: STAR

Scanty rainfall during the ongoing rainy season badly hampers cultivation of transplanted aman (T-aman) paddy in different districts.

  Around 40% of targeted land in Nilphamari district still remains uncultivated although the usual harvesting season for the paddy expires mid-August, reports our correspondent.

The season consists of two Bangla months of Ashar and Shraban (mid June-mid August) and the yield declines if paddy seedlings are transplanted after this period.

Aman, cultivated in the rainy season with the help of rainwater, is considered more profitable than other varieties of paddy.

Goats graze at a field of Panthapara village in Rajarhat upazila under Kurigram district as the land meant for aman cultivation lies barren amid scanty rain. PHOTO: STAR
Goats graze at a field of Panthapara village in Rajarhat upazila under Kurigram district as the land meant for aman cultivation lies barren amid scanty rain. PHOTO: STAR

This year DAE targeted aman cultivation on 91 thousand hectares of land in the district to produce three lakh tonnes of paddy but only 60% of the targeted land has been cultivated so far, official sources said.

Visiting different villages in the district it was found that seedlings in many seedbeds have attained 50-60 days although seedlings of 18-28 days of age are ideal for transplantation.

According to the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) in the district, June and July this year saw 339.62mm and 213.68mm of rainfall, whereas 400mm-450mm monthly rainfall is necessary during the time for proper aman farming.

Many big and solvent farmers prepared their lands with water drawn by shallow or deep pump machines and transplanted aman there but marginal farmers and sharecroppers could not afford it.

It needs additional Tk 1500-Tk 2000 to prepare one bigha of land with irrigation water, farmers said.

SM Sirajul Islam, deputy director of district DAE, however, said farmers can cope with adverse situation through alternative ways like digging earthen well and using machines for irrigation or changing crop pattern.

Cracks develop at a dried up aman field at Roghunathpur village in Kaliganj upazila under Jhenidah district. PHOTO: STAR
Cracks develop at a dried up aman field at Roghunathpur village in Kaliganj upazila under Jhenidah district. PHOTO: STAR

Our Lalmonirhat Correspondent reports: T-aman paddy cultivation is seriously hampered as farmers could not transplant the seedlings for want of required water.

The land perched and developed cracks due to lack of water at many places. Especially the poor and marginal farmers are in trouble as they cannot afford costly irrigation with the diesel-run shallow machines.

"We are cultivating T-aman paddy through irrigation using diesel run shallow machines, and it adds to the production cost,” said Nurul Miah, president of Ekota Krishak Samity at Sarpukur village of Aditmari upazila.

The DAE in Lalmonirhat set a target to bring 80,563 hectares of land under T-aman cultivation this year with the production target of 2,08,270  tonnes of rice.

The aman farmers will face heavy losses if there is not sufficient rainfall soon, said Safayet Hossain, deputy director in Lalmonirhat DAE.

Our Kurigram Correspondent adds: A large number of farmers cannot transplant matured T-man seedlings from their seedbeds as the lands cannot be prepared due to lack of rainwater during the ongoing rainy season.

While visiting different areas of the district, this correspondent found vast cultivable fields were unused in want of water while some farmers were ploughing through irrigation.

“I have planted T-aman seedlings on one acre of land through irrigation while more than one acre of cultivable land have been uncultivated due to crisis of water,” said Abdul Baten, 58, of Panthapara village of Omar Majid union under Rajarhat upazila.

Now over 2,067 shallow and deep tube-wells are being used for irrigation in croplands in the district, sources said.

According to DAE sources, about 43,000 hectares of land have been brought under the T-aman cultivation still now against the target of 1,18,650 hectares in the district this year.

Our Jhenidah correspondent reports: The area of transplanted aman cultivation in the district exceeded the target this season but the farmers are worried due to lack of sufficient rain during the ongoing monsoon.

Framers in the district cultivated aman on 89295 hectares of land against the target of 83465 hectares in the current season, said sources of agriculture office.

During visit to some aman fields in different upazilas of the district this correspondent saw that cracks developed at most of the lands.

Farmers said they have spent Tk 2000 in planting the seedlings, 1500 in ploughing and 1000 in fertilizer and insecticide per bigha (33 decimal) of land.   

"I have cultivated aman on 12 bighas of land this year spending Tk 54 thousand. But cracks have developed on all the land due to lack of rain water," said Sattar Mollik of Gobordanga village under Kaliganj upazila.

If it does not rain yet the farmers will face severe want this year, said Hazrat Ali, deputy director of DAE in Jhenidah.

Published: 12:00 am Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Last modified: 10:18 pm Wednesday, August 06, 2014

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