Low paddy price frustrates Kurigram farmers
KURIGRAM, May 14: Farmers here are frustrated over the low price of Boro paddy in the markets.
They are suffering woes as the cost of cutting and chaffing is higher than the market price of the paddy. Many paddies are left on the field.
Sharecroppers are in more trouble as they need to pay half price to the owner of the land. If they sell the rest half paddy at market price, they cannot meet the price of cutting and chaffing.
According to sources, a farmer had to spend Tk 1,600 for cultivating Boro paddy on one bigha of land in the district. They had to spend Tk 300 more for planting paddy, Tk 1,600 as labour cost, Tk 1,100 as fertiliser cost, Tk 600 for hoeing, Tk 1,650 for irrigation, Tk 300 for medicine, and Tk 3,000 for cutting and chaffing. In total, Tk 10,050 was spent to produce paddy in one bigha of land.
About 18 maunds of paddy were produced in one bigha of land. The current market price of per maund paddy is Tk 450. In total, the market price for 18 maunds is Tk 8,100. Thus, the farmers have to count losses of Tk 2,000 per bigha of land.
Boro farmers of the district said since the market price of paddy is low during the time of cutting and chaffing, the farmers are in dilemma.
In one hand, they have no choice other than selling the paddies and paying the workers' cost. On the other hand, after putting so much effort on cultivation, they cannot keep the paddy on the field.
According to the sources at the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE), though the target of Boro cultivation was set at 1,14,482 hectares of land, it was cultivated on 1,15,791 ha of land.
Sources said that except the pest attack, the production of Boro paddy was good. They further said when the paddy will be purchased by the government, the price would increase.
Deputy Director of the district DAE Dr Md Mostafizur Rahman Pradhan said the price of Boro paddy remains low during the season. In the end of the season, the price will go up.
He said that if the farmers could store the paddy, they could earn a good price in the end of the season.
Farmers of the district like the other years cultivated Boro paddy on loan. They are facing setback in the end of the cultivation during the time of cutting and chaffing.
They cannot meet the cost that they spent from planting the paddy plant to cutting and chaffing.
Farmer Abdul Malek of Sakorpar Village under Buraburi Union in Ulipur Upazila of the district said he cultivated Boro paddy on one acre and 40 decimals of land. Of them, the 40 decimal lands are owned land, and the remaining one acre was taken on the basis of sharecropping.
He also said that due to the pest attack, the yield was not good. Moreover, after sharing the crop, he cannot meet the cost of workers for cutting the paddy.
He said that his paddy is left on the field. He is feeling indecisive about what to do.
Farmer Asaduzzaman Asad of Belgacha Union in Sadar Upazila of the district said they have decided that they would not cultivate paddy in the next season.
They said that it cost Tk 10,000 to 11,000 to cultivate paddy per bigha of land. Now, the market price is Tk 8,000 to 8,500.
He urged the government to purchase paddy from the farmers directly. Farmers would not have to count much loss if the government intervenes.
They said that if the farmers cannot meet the production price, they will turn defaulters and lose their lands.