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Govt tells Chalan Beel farmers to wait as flood recedes

  • Published at 04:29 pm April 27th, 2017
Govt tells Chalan Beel farmers to wait as flood recedes
Local administration in Natore has claimed that the recent flooding in the district has affected only about 100 hectares of paddy. It is asking farmers not to panic and wait for the water to drain as most of the paddy is yet to ripen. On Thursday, sun shined and clouds withdrew in the areas surrounding Chalan Beel in Natore's Singair upazila where paddy fields were submerged after several days of rain. Singra Upazila Nirbahi Officer Nazmul Ahsan said the water level of Atrai and Gur rivers had dropped by 3cm since Wednesday evening. Natore deputy commissioner and agriculture officers have visited the affected areas. The administration has started making a list of the estimated 1,300 affected farmers for financial support. Over the week, many farmers were seen cutting down unripe paddy for fear that the flood would continue and the crop would be destroyed. Singra upazila Agriculture Officer Sazzad Hossein said water entering the Beel from the Atrai and Gur river through a canal had flooded about 40-50 hectares of paddy in Sardahnagar Chougram, 10 hectares in Patkol in the municipal area, Berabari and Kawa-Tickri of Dahia union, 10-15 hectares in Tajpur Beel, and 10-12 hectare in Satardighi area. The administration on Tuesday called on farmers to volunteer to build a barrage at Sherkol area to block the water. In light of the recent flooding and destruction of crops in the northeastern districts, the farmers were panicked and begun cutting down their green paddy. This season, Singra farmers have cultivated paddy on 37,200 hectares of land, the officer said. Almost all of the paddy is now ripe, Sazzad said, but the BRRI 29 paddy might take another 15 days to ripen. “Farmers cutting down this BRRI 29 paddy now will face losses as they will lose about half of their yield.”

Costs go up

Farmer Nasir uddin of Patul village of Naldanga upazila said he cultivated paddy on around 20 bigha of land. “I faced losses in the BRRI-29 Paddy, and I am going to face losses in the Miniket because labour costs have suddenly gone up,” he said. [caption id="attachment_60313" align="aligncenter" width="960"]A boat filled with harvested paddy in Natore's Chalan Beel. Farmers are facing high transport costs after a flood inundated large swaths of paddy fields A boat filled with harvested paddy in Natore's Chalan Beel. Farmers are facing high transport costs after a flood inundated large swaths of paddy fields[/caption] Workers were now demanding 6-7kg paddy per maund of yield instead of the usual 3-3.5kg, he said. Or about Tk800 per day against the usual rate of Tk300-350 per day. Farmer Golam Azam of Dakkhin Damdama village in Singra said all of his ripe Miniket paddy is underwater now. The cost of labour has gone up, he said. Added to that is the cost of boats for transporting the paddy. The boats are also demanding double or triple their usual rate, he added. Agriculture Officer Sazzad Hossein said he had asked the upazila education officer to direct to all primary schools, high schools and madrasas to permit farmers to use their grounds for harvesting.
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