Short duration Aman rice harvest begins in Rangpur region
RANGPUR, Oct 11, 2021 (BSS) - Short duration Aman rice harvest has begun helping farmers and farm-labourers in tackling the seasonal lean period of 'Aswin' and 'Kartik' months braving the Covid-19 pandemic in Rangpur agriculture region.
Officials of the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) said expanded cultivation of short duration Aman rice was launched since 2009 aiming at creating jobs for farm-labourers through early harvest of the crop during the seasonal lean period.
"Early harvest of short duration Aman rice creates huge jobs for the farm-labourers during the seasonal lean periods since 2010 relieving them from extreme poverty," said Agriculturist Bidhu Bhusan Ray, Additional Director of the DAE, Rangpur region.
Earlier, an extreme poverty-like situation was being created for lack of agricultural activities during the months of 'Aswin' and 'Kartik', locally called 'monga', causing untold miseries to the poor and farm-labourers even a decade ago.
The DAE has fixed a target of producing 17.19 lakh tonnes of clean Aman rice (25.79 lakh tonnes of paddy) from 6,12,451 hectares of land for the region this season.
"Before the recent flood, farmers transplanted Aman rice seedlings on 6,14,295 hectares of land exceeding the fixed farming target by 1,844 hectares," Ray said.
However, the recent deluge damaged Aman rice on 1,965 hectares of land in the region.
After damage caused by the recent flood, Aman rice plants are growing superbly on the rest of 6,12,330 hectares of land amid excellent climatic conditions.
"Of them, farmers have cultivated short duration varieties of Aman rice on 63,197 hectares of land which is 10.32 percent against the total cultivated land area of 6,12,330 hectares in the region," he said.
Meanwhile, farmers have already harvested short duration Aman rice on 3,089 hectares of land producing 9,194 tonnes of clean Aman rice (13,791 tonnes of paddy) in all five districts of Rangpur agriculture region till Sunday.
"Farmers are now getting an average yield rate of 2.98 tonnes of clean Aman rice (4.47 tonnes of paddy) per hectare of land," Ray said.
Beginning from this current month of October, harvesting of short duration Aman rice will continue till the end of November next eliminating the joblessness situation.
Senior Coordinator (Agriculture and Environment) of RDRS Bangladesh Agriculturist Mamunur Rashid said expanded cultivation of short duration Aman rice and early harvest has permanently eliminated 'monga' by creating jobs during the lean period.
"Farmers will cultivate early varieties of potato, Vitamin-A enriched sweet potato, winter vegetables and other crops on the same land after harvesting short duration Aman rice to increase crop intensity and earn more profits," Rashid added.
Farmers Azizar Rahman and Narayan Chandra Sen of village Bhimpur and Rabindranath Roy of village Bachhurbandha in Taraganj upazila of Rangpur said they harvested short duration varieties of BINA dhan17 and BINA dhan16 rice and got excellent output.
Independence Award 2018 Medal (food security) winner Agriculturist Dr Md Abdul Mazid said early harvest of short duration Aman rice followed by cultivation of early varieties of winter crops on the same land creates huge jobs during the lean period.
After assuming power in 2009, the Awami League government led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina put maximum stress on expanding cultivation of short duration Aman rice and soon eliminated seasonal 'monga' by 2010 from Rangpur region permanently.
"Early harvest of short duration varieties of Aman rice with excellent yields makes farmers happy creating huge jobs for farm- and day- labourers to assist them in tackling the seasonal lean period this year amid the Covid-19 pandemic," he said.