The sudden unseasonal rainfall in the last week of February has dealt a serious blow to farmers in Barguna and Patuakhali.
According to estimates by officials of Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE), the heavy rain has caused at least Tk 3.6 crore worth of damage to crops in the two districts.
Hoping to reap a good harvest after winter, Abul Kalam had spent about Tk 35,000 to plant several seasonal crops including mung beans and potato on his 1.5 acres of land in Barguna's Rupdhon village under Pathorghata upazila.
Looking at his crop field, inundated by the rain, he now sees no hope of recovering the investment.
The mung beans would be ready for harvest next week, but the rain has spoiled it, the hapless farmer said.
Patuakhali's watermelon farmer Kamrul Islam Hiru said all his watermelon plants, on 15 acres of land in Rangabali upazila Chotobaishdia village, were damaged by the rain, costing him a loss of nearly Tk 24 lakh.
“Now how will I pay off the loan that I took for agriculture?” He said with frustration.
Rangabali Union Parishad Chairman Saiduzzaman Mamun said the government should step in to help out the farmers as all of them have incurred heavy losses due to the rain.
In Barguna and Patuakhali, many others had similar stories to tell. Met offices in both the districts said they recorded 385 millilitres of rainfall in the two districts from February 25 to 28, with 205 millilitres recorded in Patuakhali alone.
Abdul Mannan, acting DAE officer in Rangabali upazila of Patuakhali, said, almost 60 percent of various robi crops, including watermelon, have been badly damaged by the four days' rain.
DAE Deputy Director (DD) in Barguna Matiur Rahman said various crops such as potato, watermelon, mung bean, green chili and sunflower were damaged in the district due to the unexpected rainfall. The damage is estimated at around Tk 2.35 crore.
The higher authorities have been informed of the extent of the losses, he added.
The DD of DAE in Patuakhali, Hridayeshwar Datta, said crops cultivated in lowlands in the district have been damaged badly, with an estimated value of Tk 1.28 crore.