Floods damage 56,000 hectares of Aush paddy
The ongoing floods have so far damaged 56,000 hectares of Aush paddy in Bangladesh, Agriculture Minister Muhammad Abdur Razzaque said today.
Of them, 22,000 hectares of the paddy were damaged in Sunamganj and Sylhet alone, he said while speaking to reporters after a meeting with Maldives High Commissioner Shiruzimath Sameer at the secretariat in Dhaka.
Other crops such as vegetables, sesame seeds and nuts have also been damaged, he said.
"If the flood does not prolong, it will be possible to make up for the damages," he said, adding that the government has already started taking extensive preparations to cover the loss.
This season, 11 lakh hectares of Aush paddy have been cultivated across the country.
The floods, which hit Sylhet and Sunamganj districts on June 15, has spread to many other districts, including Kurigram, Lalmonirhat, Nilphamari and Moulvibazar, the minister said.
Razzaque said the preparation for the seedbeds of Ropa Aman has started. "If the flood situation does not deteriorate, the seed beds will not suffer too much damage. But, if the flood lingers, the seed beds will be damaged too."
Various programmes are also being taken so that the production of Aman paddy is not affected, according to the minister.
After Boro, Aman is the second-biggest paddy in Bangladesh, which produces 1.5 lakh tonnes of the rice variety per year.
If the seed beds are damaged, new beds will be prepared again after the receding of flood waters, Razzaque said.
"We have enough seeds in our stock that will be given to the farmers."
If the flood lasts long, an initiative will be taken to cultivate Aman paddy of late varieties, he added.
The minister also said the ongoing floods may affect the prices of vegetables.
"However, it is not clear yet whether there will be a food crisis in the country due to the floods."