Waterlogging in Patuakhali: Rain ravages Aman seedbeds in low-lying areas
Heavy rain over the last few days has caused waterlogging in different areas of Patuakhali, severely damaging Aman seedbeds.
Paddy farmers in the district are now passing their days amid uncertainty regarding Aman cultivation this season.
However, the agriculture department has claimed that the seedbeds will be fixed once the water recedes.
Hedayet Ali Howladar, a 65-year-old farmer of Fatehpur village in Kalapara upazila, said that he borrowed money to plant Aman seedlings on 12 bighas of his land. But the inundation caused by heavy rain over the last week has badly damaged his seedbeds.
"Most of the seedlings are rotten. I have suffered a financial loss worth Tk 20,000 while uncertainty looms over my cultivation in the Aman season."
Another farmer, Yasin Ali, of Paschim Sonatala village, planted Aman saplings on 10 bighas of land. The field, along with the newly planted seedlings, has remained submerged for a week, causing the saplings to rot.
"How will I collect saplings and cultivate my land again," he said.
About 80 percent of farmers in 12 unions of the upazila have lost their Aman seedbeds, said local farmers.
Sultan Gazi, a farmer of Kumirmara village, informed that most them do not have enough seeds to prepare new seedbed. They also do not have the financial support to buy seeds again, he added.
"It rained continuously for 90 hours last week, which does not happen often,' he said.
Kalapara Upazila Agriculture Extension Officer ARM Saifullah said, "The farmers' seedbeds of Bri-51, 52, 76 varieties were damaged due to rain water. However, there is no shortage of seeds. There is enough stock of the Bri-22, 23, 33, 62 and 75 varieties. Farmers have no reason to panic."
He also said that the assistant agricultural officers at the field level will assess the damage and provide necessary advice to the farmers.
Meanwhile, Abul Kalam, a farmer of Nayavanguni village of Rangabali upazila, alleged that influential people have also blocked the canal for their fish farming operation, further aggravating the waterlogging situation.
This has caused damage to the seedbeds in the area. As there is no time to prepare new seedbeds, the farmers are worried if they would be able to plant Aman saplings on time, he added.
Contacted, Deputy Director of Patuakhali Department of Agricultural Extension Md Nazrul Islam said that some seedbeds have been badly damaged in various areas of the district, especially in the low-lying areas.
According to his office, Aman seedbeds had been prepared on 12,000 hectares of land in the district. Of this, 165 hectares have been damaged, incurring a loss of around Tk 30 lakh.
Nazrul Islam also mentioned that 153 hectares of saplings have been damaged in the district.
Field level DAE officials have been instructed to provide necessary advice to the affected farmers, he added.