TANGAIL, Feb 22: A spree of farming poisonous tobacco is going on in greater dimension across Nagorpur, Delduar, Sadar and Kalihati upazilas here beside the Dhaleswari River.
The absence of proper monitoring by the agriculture department and the allurement of the growers by the tobacco companies followed by high profit has inspired the farmers to cultivate tobacco in a large scale in the district.
On the other hand, following the tobacco cultivation, the fertility of soil is degrading day by day while the entire environment is under threat thus jeopardising people's health.
During a recent visit to Lauhati union of Delduar upazila, Mokna union of Nagorpur upazila, and Mogra union of Sadar upazila including many other sandy lands beside the Dhaleswari River, this correspondent found that poisonous tobacco farming geared up in greater dimension. Availability of water supply has encouraged a large number of farmers to cultivate tobacco. Many farmers have installed shallow machines to irrigate the tobacco fields. Besides, the use of fertilisers in greater amount is in many ways transforming the riverside lands uncultivable for other crops. On the other hand, the river water is also becoming poisonous.
The effects of the cultivation have increased health risk among farmers leading to cancer, asthma, tuberculosis and other diseases, according to relevant sources.
Moreover, increased threat of environmental degradation has been surfaced in greater dimension, environmentalists apprehended.