Farmers expect better Aman rice production in Rangpur region

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RANGPUR, Nov 21, 2020 (BSS) – Despite huge damages to Aman rice caused by recent floods, farmers are expecting the crop’s better production as its harvesting continues in full swing now in Rangpur agriculture region.

Officials of the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) said farmers have already completed harvesting Aman rice on three lakh hectares of land, that is tantamount to over 50 percent against the total standing crop on 5.98 lakh hectares of land, in all five districts of the region.

The average yield rate currently stands at 2.90 tonnes of clean Aman rice per hectare of land, a little less than the fixed average production rate of 2.91 tonnes per hectare.

“However, farmers are happy with excellent market prices of newly harvested Aman paddy that is between Taka 1,100 and Taka 1,200 per mound,” said Acting Additional Director of the DAE at its regional office Agriculturist Md. Moniruzzaman.

At the same time, hundreds of farm-labourers are earning wages through harvesting Aman rice to lead better life despite adverse impacts of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the region.

“The DAE had fixed a target of producing 16,97,795 tonnes of clean Aman rice (25,46,693 tonnes of paddy) from 6,05,140 hectares of land at an average yield rate of 2.91 tonnes of rice for the region this year,” Moniruzzaman said.

However, recent floods damaged various standing crops on 42,055 hectares of land causing production losses of 1,49,416 tonnes of crops worth Taka 499.16 crore this year affecting 4,49,285 farmers in Rangpur agriculture region.

“The floods damaged standing Aman rice crop on 24,886 hectares of land causing its production losses of 70,230 tonnes worth Taka 253 crore, affecting 2,29,209 farmers in the region,” Moniruzzaman said.

Besides, floods damaged seedbeds of Aman rice on 1,195.87 hectares of land causing losses to seedlings worth Taka 15.95 crore affecting 38,705 farmers in the region.

“To recoup huge crop losses, the government through the DAE implemented agri-rehabilitation programmes spending Taka 1.42 crore assisting 14,743 flood-hit farmers to make Aman rice farming programme a success,” Moniruzzaman added.

Talking to BSS, farmers Mofizar Rahman, Ashraful Islam and Amenur Rahman of different upazilas in Rangpur said they are harvesting Aman rice in full swing and getting better production as their crops were not affected by recent floods.

Farmers Mohsin Ali, Iqbal Hossain, Abdur Rahman, Moyen Ali and Dulal Roy of Mominpur and Haridebpur unions in Rangpur Sadar said they are getting excellent yield after harvesting Aman paddy.

However, farmers Ariful Haque and Manik Mian of Rangpur Sadar upazila said they have cultivated flood-tolerant varieties of Aman rice on their crop lands.

“I have cultivated flood-tolerant varieties of Aman rice like BRRI dhan51, BRRI dhan52 and BINA dhan12 on seven acres of land and getting only 22 mounds of paddy against expected 45 mounds of the crop per acre this year,” Haque said.

“My growing Aman rice plants were inundated twice under flood water this season,” he said, adding that farmers in other areas where recent floods did not submerge their growing Aman rice plants are getting excellent output.

Farmers are sowing seeds of early varieties of potato, winter vegetables and other Rabi crops now on the same land after harvesting Aman rice to reap more profits, braving the COVID-19 pandemic in the region.