The recent hailstorm has caused severe damage to vegetable seedbeds at 20 villages in Lalmonirhat Sadar and Aditmari upazilas.
The farmers of these areas are gaining profit by producing different types of hybrid vegetable seeds for the last several years as different seed companies buy the seeds at fair prices, said locals.
Over a thousand farmers across the district produce seeds of hybrid vegetables including bitter gourd, coriander, chilli, eggplant, tomato, gourd, jhinga, coffee, cucumber and spinaches on more than 500 acres of land, said officials of the Department of Agricultural Extension.
Belal Hossain, 56, a vegetable seed grower at Fulgachh village in Lalmonirhat Sadar upazila, said the hailstorm has damaged a quarter of his bitter gourd and chilli seeds on three bighas of land.
The expected yield would not come from the rest too, he added.
Taramohan Barman, 65, a farmer from the same village, said half of his four bighas of pumpkin, bitter gourd and jhinga seed fields has been damaged.
It will be difficult to recover even the cultivation cost for seed production, he said.
"We fear losses as the hailstorm for four days coupled with the monsoon rain will badly affect the yield of vegetable seeds this season," said farmer Fazar Ali, 60, of Karnapur village in Sadar upazila.
Lalmonirhat Sadar Upazila Agriculture Officer Enamul Haque said, "Natural calamities are always unpredictable. Although the hailstorm has caused damage to the vegetable seed fields, the farmers will not face much loss as the seed companies buy the seeds from them at fair prices."