Vast tract of Aman fields in the district are being irrigated under Teesta Irrigation Project for the last three weeks, bringing smile to farmers facing problem in Aman transplanting due to scanty rain here.
Rafiul Bari, agricultural extension officer of Water Development Board (WDB) in Dalia division, said they have been rendering irrigation facility to the growers, targeting irrigation of 65,000 hectares of Aman fields in the project area under 10 upazilas from mid-August.
The upazilas are Sadar, Jaldhaka, Dimla, Kishoreganj, Gangachara, Badarganj, Taraganj, Khanshama, Chirirbandar and Parbatipur.
He further said they are able to supply irrigational water through a network of 330 km of canals out of 712km to even distant fields without hindrance as the normal flow of water in the Teesta river is now 5,000 cusec.
Sanarul Islam, sub-assistant agricultural officer of Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) in Nilphamari, said there was only 119mm of rain in August this year while it was 842mm during the same period last year.
Farmer Mominur Rahman of Ramnagar village in Sadar upazila said he fell in trouble in cultivating Aman saplings on his two acres of land due to scanty rain but he is now able to overcome the problem in mid-August by getting irrigation facility from the project authorities.
“Due to scanty rain, the Aman saplings which I cultivated in early August were almost dying but later the Teesta project came to me as saviour,” said another farmer Umapada Roy of Balagram village in Jaldhaka upazila.
The project area is adorned with green Aman fields, while many farmers living outside the area cannot plant the saplings, said Fazal Kadir, a grower of Keshba in Taraganj upazila.
Rabiul Islam, executive engineer of WDB’s Dalia division, said they cannot get adequate water from the irrigation project in the dry season when Boro paddy is cultivated as India closes all gates of its Gajaldoba Barrage, bringing water flow down to only 400 cusec.
The gates are opened in the rainy season during Aman cultivation, which depends on rainwater, he added.
Abul Kashem Azad, deputy director of DEA in Nilphamari, said they set a target to cultivate Aman paddy on 1.23 lakh hectares of land, but scanty rain was a barrier to achieving the target.