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Tuesday, May 17, 2016, Jaistha 3, 1423 BS, Shaban 9, 1437 Hijri

Labourer shortage badly affects Irri-Boro harvesting in Kishoreganj
Our Correspondent
Published :Tuesday, 17 May, 2016,  Time : 12:00 AM  View Count : 20
KISHOREGANJ, May 16: Due to severe shortage of labourers, the Irri-Boro harvesting in 13 upazilas of the district has been affected badly. As a result, the farmers are very worried over timely harvest of the crops.
About 65 to 70 labourers are generally needed for harvesting the crop from one hectare of land, the farmers said.
Md. Abul Kashem, a farmer of Ghagra village under Mitamoin upazila of the district, said a similar problem was prevalent during the cultivation period in January last.
The Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) had set a target to bring 1,64,990 hectares of land under Irri-Boro cultivation with a production target of 6,58,121 tonnes of rice in 13 upazilas of the district. But the farmers have cultivated paddy on around 1.65 lakh hectares of land this season.
Earlier, a large number of labourers used to come here from other areas during the cultivation and harvesting seasons, but now local labourers go to the other districts to earn higher wages.
On the other hand, affluent farmers can somehow manage labourers by offering higher wages but the small and marginal farmers cannot afford it.
Md. Chand Miah, a farmer of Chamakpur village under Mitamoin upazila said, "Last year the labourers were given 5/6 kilograms of paddy for reaping one maund of the paddy. But this year it has stood at 9/10 kilograms. As a result, our expenditures have increased this year."
Another farmer Md. Taher Miah of Badla village under Itna upazila said, "I have not started harvesting yet as there is scarcity of labourers. I have searched for labourers in many places but could hardly find anyone."
The crisis may deepen in the upcoming days if sufficient labourers are not available, local farmers said.

Editor : Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury
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