Cold spell about to hit agriculture sector hard
The ongoing cold spell has not only hit the people hard, especially the inhabitants of the northern districts, but now it is threatening to damage the crops of the country also. During all past winter seasons the severe cold weather had affected the crops.
This year, the mercury dipped to 2.6 degree Celsius in certain areas - recording the temperature lowest in 50 years in the country's history. Intensity of cold has eased a little in the last couple of days, but according to the Met office, another cold wave will sweep through the country after January 20.
Agricultural experts have pointed out that a longer spell of cold may cause boro seedlings to die while fearing, production of the seasonal crops to fall far behind the target. We cannot stop the seasonal flow of the cold wave, but surely there are measures that can be adopted to minimise the damage crops.
According to a report published on Wednesday, a total of 2,84,077 boro seedbeds are being prepared in the country to be cultivated in around 47.05 lakh hectares of land this season and the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) is presently assessing the damage the cold wave can cause to seedbeds. For minimizing the damage, DAE ought to be all prepared to help the farmers so to help them in creating new seedbeds.
There are some usual problems of our agriculture and intense cold is one among them, as in the northern region cold is usually heavier than other parts of the country every season -- this season the lowest temperature was recorded in Tentulia -- and it affects the agriculture of the northern region quite often. That is why the government can very positively take up a project every year to create seedbeds of its own in strategic places so that it can supply seedlings to farmers in times of need.
The problems of Bangladesh's agriculture have traditionally been floods, drought or lack of irrigation facilities, salinity of the soil in the southern areas as well as unavailability of farm inputs including quality seeds, fertilisers and of course, the traditional way of farming by farmers who do not know how to scientifically cultivate crops.
However, drawing crucial lessons from all previous winters including this one, we must remember the weather pattern in future winter seasons will become even harsher. In order to protect and provide our farmers with urgent supply of seedlings the authorities concerned will now have to run the extra mile.
Last but not least, the ongoing cold wave in the country is definitely related to the climate change. The unprecedented cold condition is a slow onset of climate disaster in our country. Given the fact of this extreme weather conditions, which is now witnessing three seasons instead of six? Unquestionably, we have to be extra-ordinarily precautious from now on.