Sugarcane growers in the mill zone areas of Rangpur Sugar Mills incurred huge losses as the affected sugarcane on vast tract of land dried up after being submerged under floodwater for three weeks since July 15.
They have urged the mill authorities and the government to start post flood agricultural rehabilitation.
The recent prolonged flood has damaged sugarcane on 591 acres of land in the mill zone areas that will adversely affect sugar production in the next crushing season 2019-20.
Moreover, cane on 3,792 acres of land has been affected partially due to longstanding waterlogging in the cane fields.
The growers cultivated cane by borrowing money from the mill and other sources but they fell in great trouble after losing their crops to floodwater.
They are now very worried about how they will repay the loans and rehabilitate them next time, said the affected farmers.
They have urged the government to waive the loans and allocate grant for rehabilitation, so that they can survive.
During the current cane farming season, total 5,521 acres of land have been brought under cane cultivation in the mill’s eight sub-zones and its commercial cane farm at Shahebganj, according to the mill authority.
But longstanding floodwater since July 15 damaged cane on 591.14 acres of land at sub-zone A, zone B, Shahebganj, Gobindaganj and Naldanga zones completely and on 3,792 acres partially.
Grower Khaibar Hossain of Mohimaganj in Gobindaganj upazila said he cultivated cane on three bighas of land by borrowing money from the mill authority with the hope of better yielding, but the cane dried up after being submerged under floodwater.
Another grower Sona Mia of the area said “I am fully dependent on selling sugarcane, but this time cane on four bighas of my land went under floodwater and those are now drying up gradually.”
Cane grower Azizur Rahman urged upon the government for the rehabilitation of the affected farmers.
Rafiqul Islam, managing director (MD) of Rangpur Sugar Mills, cane farmers have incurred huge losses after crop damage due to flood.
They wrote to the higher authorities for agricultural rehabilitation of the affected farmers, he said.
They have also extended all possible support to rehabilitate the affected cane growers, said the MD.