13 Coastal Districts: Rice growers, fish farmers take a hit
Cyclone Bulbul has affected huge areas of crops and fish farms in the southern coastal districts, according to preliminary reports by the government agencies concerned.
The cyclone, which swept over the southern belt, affected nearly 21,809 ponds and shrimp farms, causing farmers, in mostly Barishal and Khulna divisions, losses of Tk 43.21 crore, according to data of the Department of Fisheries (DoF).
Some 2,202 tonnes of fish, including 200 tonnes of shrimps, were washed away as the farms were inundated due to heavy rain and tidal surges during the cyclone.
Including the losses for the damage of farm infrastructures, total losses of fish farms were estimated at Tk 46.80 crore.
“It is a primary report. We will finalise the report after getting information from all field offices,” said Umme Kulsum Ferdousi, district fisheries officer at the DoF.
Apart from fish and shrimp farms, the cyclone also affected 2.89 lakh hectares of area in the southern districts, according to preliminary data of the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE).
Standing Aman paddies, the second biggest crop, were most hit, followed by pulse and winter vegetables, the DAE data showed. Aman crop on 2.70 lakh hectares of area, with different levels of maturity has been affected, causing losses for farmers. Harvesting of the paddy would begin by the end of this month.
The DAE said crops in 13 districts, mainly Patuakhali, Bhola, Bagerhat, Pirojpur, Satkhira and Khulna, were hit the most.
The affected crop areas were 22 percent of the total of 12.99 lakh hectares of standing crops in the 13 affected districts.
DAE officials said they were yet to complete the final assessment and amount of crop losses would be finalised upon getting detailed reports from all the affected areas.
“In some areas, Aman paddy has fallen in a way that the crop will not bring any actual yield,” said Mehedi Hasan Khan, upazila agriculture officer in Khulna’s Dacope upazila.
The cyclone also caused losses of livestock worth Tk 58.71 lakh, after the death of animals, poultry and the damage of farms and feed, according to Department of Livestock Services (DLS).
“We had all prepared to protect lives from danger. Even if we could protect ourselves, many of us suffered from loss of property,” said Md Asaduzzman Milon, chairman of Reyenda Union of Bagerhat’s Sarankhola upazila.