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Drought hits .6m hectares in Rangpur, good aman harvest unlikely

  • Published at 03:35 am August 6th, 2013
Drought hits .6m hectares in Rangpur, good aman harvest unlikely

Drought has engulfed eight districts of Rangpur with land becoming uncultivable, much to the worries of the farmers.

Once a vast tract of cropland has now given way to pasture.

Farmers cannot sow seed due to lack of water, besides irrigation is also at stake since there is much shortage of electricity.

According to the Department of Agriculture Extension, there are still .35m hector of land remaining uncultivable.

They said 1.025m hector land was targeted to be cultivated by Aman paddy in eight districts of the division, but seeds had been sowed in 71% land by irrigation.

Meteorologist Mofijul Islam of Rangpur Meteorological Office said 623mm rain has been recorded in June and July which is one third of the previous year of the same time, according to banglanews24.com.

Though the perfect time for sowing Aman seeds has already crossed, cultivable land of Sadullupur and Polashbari of Gaibandha, Peerganj and Mithapukur of Rangpur, Birampur and Parbitipur upazila of Dinajpur remain empty.

There are some land where Aman has not been sowed. Monwar Hossain of Mohisbondhi village of Sadullupur upazila claimed that Aman had not been sowed in 10% land in the area.

Some farmers having shallow engine sowed Aman seed in their lands, he said, adding that Aman seeds are damaged for the lack of rain and also for scorching heat.

The perfect time for sowing seeds has expired many days ago.

Farmer Shamsul Alam of Badarganj said the electricity connection of tube well and deep tube well was cut for safety reasons after Boro cultivation was done.

It was alleged that farmers are not getting electricity even after giving connection fee and extra fee.

Sahanur Islam Lenin, a farmer of Peerganj area, said Tk900 is being realised as connection fee.

On the other hand, there are also complexities with state-run deep tube well, he added.

The farmers in the area also demanded reintroduction of the state-run irrigation system.

Peerganj upazila agriculture official Rejaul Karim said drought hit the region this time.

Aman seeds are being damaged, and it may also lead to a bad harvest, he added.

Rejaul said 178mm rain was recorded in the area in last June whiel it is 41mm this year.

Again, 440.6mm rain was recorded in July of the last year which is 110.3mm this year. He acknowledges that seed has not yet been sowed in many land.

Additional Director Sikandar Ali of the Department of Agriculture Extension, Rangpur division, said the farmers were waiting to sow seeds.

Now, they have started to sow seeds. Irrigation has already begun by 61749 tube well and 1871 deep tube well.

The official claimed that time had not yet passed away though it had been already late.

He said the worst condition was in Kurigram. Only 22% seed had been sowed till August 4 in the district where 113695 hector land was targeted to bring under Aman cultivation.

The second worst condition was in Gaibandha where 42% land had been sowed, and in Rangpur, 67% of 1,53,732 hector land had been sown.

Rangpur 6 Lawmaker Abul Kalam Azad said: "I have seen the cracked land caused by the lack of rain. Most of the farmers could not sow Aman paddy. If the condition persists it will bring a bad harvest."

He added that he had already talked to the secretary of agriculture ministry.

Further decision will be made after the minister returns home on August 6, said the lawmaker.

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