Aman farming uncertain in Gaibandha, Dinajpur | The Daily Star

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12:00 AM, September 12, 2017 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, September 12, 2017

Aman farming uncertain in Gaibandha, Dinajpur

Farmers in the dists fear fresh flood, face severe seedling crisis

Flood-hit farmers in Gaibandha have stopped planting Aman seedlings, fearing fresh flood as re-planted seedlings on vast lands in low-lying areas went under rainwater.

Meanwhile, Aman farming has become costlier for Dinajpur growers due to severe seedling crisis created by last month's flood. 

As heavy downpour for the last three days again inundated low-lying areas in different upazilas of Gaibandha, fear-stricken farmers stopped planting the costly seedlings, reports our correspondent.

The farmers incurred huge loss this season, as they planted Aman seedlings twice earlier and they are now attempting to plant for the third time.

According to the control room of Gaibandha Water Development Board, 15 millimetres of rainfall was recorded during the last three days. Besides, increasing trend of water level was marked in the Jamuna and Teesta river basin areas. During the last 24 hours, water level in the river Jamuna increased by 10 centimetres.

Landless and marginal farmers have given up the idea of fresh plantation of Aman seedlings, as they could not procure high priced seedlings from the market. So they are planning for Rabi crop farming.

“All seedlings on my five bighas of land were washed away by the floodwater. However, I again planted seedlings on two bighas of land, but they went under water,” said Sontosh Kumar, a farmer of Kholahati village in Sadar upazila.

“We don't like to take risk of further plantation of seedlings with the increasing trend of water level in river basin together with heavy downpour,” said Rafiqul Islam, another farmer of the village .

“Three days ago, we sold seedlings at Tk 400 to Tk 500 per pawn (80 bundles), but now there is no customer,” said Idris Ali, a seedling vendor.

If such a situation prevails for the next few days, the seedlings will perish, causing huge loss,  said Yasin Ali, another vendor.

In Dinajpur, severe Aman seedling crisis worries farmers in the district. The situation was created due to last month's flood that washed away seedbeds, reports our correspondent.

The Department of Agriculture Extension in the district targets cultivation of Aman paddy on 2, 53,687 hectares of land.

Some people are bringing Aman saplings to Dinajpur from other districts like Bogra to meet the crisis, but it is too expensive, said farmers.

Mominul Islam of Galtabari village in Biral upazila said he planted Aman on an acre of land this season. He spent Tk 600 for seedlings. Flood washed away the seedlings. After flood, he purchased the same quantity of  seedlings at Tk 12,000.

On the other hand, many Aman farmers sold their lands for low prices after floods.

Golam Mostafa, deputy director of DAE in Dinajpur, said such problem will not affect their rice prodiction target this year. His office distributed sufficient seedlings among the affected farmers.

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