Braving the coronavirus pandemic, farmers have already exceeded the fixed production target of Aman rice despite massive damages caused to the crop by recent floods this season in Rangpur agriculture region.
Officials of the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) said farmers completed Aman rice harvest on 5.96 lakh hectares of land out of total 5.98 lakh hectares of cultivated land area till Monday in the region.
“Farmers have already produced 16.99 lakh tonnes of clean Aman rice (25.48 lakh tonnes of paddy) exceeding the production target of 16.97 lakh tonnes of rice by 2,000 tonnes,” Deputy Director of the DAE at its regional office Agriculturist Md. Moniruzzaman said.
Earlier, the DAE had fixed a target of producing 16,97,750 tonnes of clean Aman rice (25,46,625 tonnes of paddy) from 6,05,140 hectares of land for all five districts in the region for the current season.
The enthusiastic farmers, however, cultivated the crop on 6,12,435 hectares of land exceeding the fixed farming target by 7,295 hectares of land or 1.20 per cent in all five districts of the agriculture region.
“However, recent floods totally damaged the Aman rice crop on 14,005 hectares of land and the remaining Aman rice crop 5,98,430 hectares of land grew excellent in the region,” Moniruzzaman said.
To recoup the crop losses, the government implemented massive agri-rehabilitation programmes spending Taka 1.42 crore assisting 14,743 flood-affected farmers of the region to make Aman rice farming programme a success.
With massive assistance of the government through the DAE and other agriculture-related organisations, many flood-affected farmers re-transplanted Aman rice seedlings on their croplands after the recession of floodwater and got better production.
“Till Monday, farmers completed harvesting of Aman rice on 5,96,672 hectares of land out of total 5,98,430 hectares of cultivated land area. Harvest on the rest of 1,758 hectares of land is likely to complete soon,” Moniruzzaman said.
He said the total production of Aman rice might be around 17.05 lakh tonnes against the fixed production target of 16.97 lakh tonnes after completion of the harvesting process in the region.
Farmer Ariful Haque Batul of flood-prone village Najirdigar in Rangpur Sadar said he had cultivated flood-tolerant varieties of Aman rice on seven acres of land this season.
“Recent floods submerged my growing Aman rice plants twice this year,” he said, adding that he already completed harvest of the crop and got 22 mounds of paddy per acre of land this year against 45 mounds of the crop per acre last year.
However, farmers in other areas where recent floods did not submerge their growing Aman rice plants got excellent output in the tune of 35 to 45 tonnes of paddy per acre this season, reports BSS.