Bagerhat, Jan 9 (UNB) – A stream of joy goes through the farmers of the district after a long pause, as they witnessed a bumper production of Aman paddy this year exceeding all the pre-determined targets
Locals said the production rate is much higher this year as farmers planted high-yield variety of paddy over a larger portion of land.
As per the Department of Agriculture Extension, a total of 4.38 metric tonnes of paddy was produced per hectare which is much higher compared to the past 10 years.
The fragrance of ripened paddy has been floating around the Balaibunia, Ambaria, Kalikabari and Kichmatjamua villages of Morelganj upazila where some farmers are seen cutting rice, some taking piles of rice to their houses and some were spending busy times at the last-minute preparations.
Farmers said 20 to 22 maunds of high-yielding Aman paddy were produced in each bigha of land which provided Tk 15,000 profit excluding the production cost. The farmers are now much more interested in cultivating high-yielding Aman due to the high production.
Considering the local farmers, officials at the Department of Agricultural Extension suggested the government to procure paddy along with rice from the farmers.
Shah Alam Khan, a farmer of Kichmatjamua village said, “I’ve cultivated Aman in 12 bighas of land and harvested 25 maunds of paddy. I made a profit of Tk 20,000 per bigha cutting down the production cost.”
Shah Alam who had been cultivating rice for the past 30 years said he had never seen such bumper rice production in the past as he got after cultivating BRRI-67. He suggested spreading the seed of BRRI-67 across the country for bumper production.
Swapan Dhali, a 70-year-old farmer of Ambaria village, said, “Agriculture is our profession and family tradition. We cultivated Aman in 25 bighas of land, the production was much higher which had been absent in the last many years. Adequate care, good quality and lack of diseases contributed to the excessive production.”
Another farmer, Suresh Kumar Dhali, of same village collected the paddy at his house to preserve them and wished to sell them when the price of rice will hike.
Nagen Mandal of Ambaria village said, “I’m a farmer but I don’t have any land of my own. Every year, I cultivate five bighas of land by taking lease from others. This year approximately 90 maunds of rice have been produced in that land. Half the rice will go to the owner’s house and the rest will be sold to support my family.”
Tapan Das, Alamgir Hossain and Delwar Hossain, farmers of Balaibunia village, said this year at the advice of the Agriculture Department they cultivated different high-yielding varieties of rice.
Other farmers of Kaliabari village said the country will live well if the farmers are able to live well.
The farmers sought assistance of government to encourage more people in cultivation of paddy and active monitoring regarding the sale of produced rice and farmers’ profit.
Fourteen kinds of high-yielding varieties of rice, including draught, tide, salt and water stagnation resistant rice, have been cultivated in at least half the land in nine upazilas of Bagerhat this year. Among them, the farmers showed more interest in cultivating BRRI-67.
According to the Agriculture Department, rice was cultivated in a total of 1,40,596 hectares of land in the district. Among those, Aman rice was cultivated in 73,651 hectares of land. High-yielding variety of rice was cultivated in 35,686 hectares of land while local varieties in 37,965 hectares.
Some 4.38 metric tonnes of rice was produced per hectare this year while the target of production was 4.17 metric tonnes.
Agriculture officials said for sowing Aman rice, the work on seedbeds preparation begins on July 1 and the seeds are sowed from July 25. The harvesting begins on November 1 and continues till the second week of January which is a source of living for at least 2,44,970 families in the district.
Mejba Ahmed, Zakir Hossain and Mizanur Rahman, Deputy Assistants of Morelganj Agriculture Office, said they have been advising and encouraging the local farmers for using high-yielding paddy in their fields.
They hoped that the Aman production will be further amplified from the next year.
Deputy Director of Bagerhat Agricultural Extension Department Md Aftab Uddin said such huge Aman production was never seen in Bagerhat in the past 10 years.