Farmers harvesting paddy at Khaliajuri amid corona fear
KHALIAJURI, NETRAKONA, Apr 11: Farmers of Khaliajuri Upazila in the district are harvesting Boro paddy amid corona fear.
Green haor is getting golden. Endless fields are getting filled with golden paddy. The dream of brining paddy to home is now on the face of every farmer. The harvesting is going on uninterrupted at the assistance of the local agriculture office.
The total cultivable land of the haor-based Khaliajuri Upazila is about 20,000 hectares. Of these, 19,250 ha were brought under Boro cultivation this year.
But, the year experienced a decline in the cultivation of paddy due to low prices of the produce and natural disasters last year. As a result, 1,000 ha of land remained uncultivable. If the agriculture department does not patronise the farmers, the size of the land will reduce, said locals.
Upazila Agriculture Officer Ahsan Habib said this year's production target is 78,925 metric tons, adding that the yield was good.
He also said the harvesting has already begun. The production target will not be hampered due to some uncultivable lands.
Taking note on the corona situation, all efforts have been taken to stay beside the farmers, he added.
Farmer Motalib Mia of Chhayar Haor in Krishnapur Union said, the yield has been good, but they are worried about the price.
Farmer Sudhir Baishnab of Balyar Haor in Khaliajuri Sadar Union said, "We cultivate paddy facing drought, air pollution, flash flood, and hailstorm. And, then we are worried about fair price. If we don't get good price, we will no longer cultivate paddy."
Talking to more than one farmer, it was learnt that it cost Tk 10,000 to cultivate paddy in one bigha of land. The highest production is 25 maunds in per bigha. The cultivation could be cost effective if per maund paddy sells at Tk 800 to 1,000.
Only paddy is cultivated in the haor lands. To save farmers and agriculture, the price of paddy should be increased and subsidy should be given, said experts on haor.