Farm workers plant Boro saplings at a field in Paba upazila of Rajshahi Dhaka Tribune
According to the sources, the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) has set the target of producing 15.34 lakh tonnes of rice from 3.53 lakh hectares of land in four districts of Rajshahi Agricultural Zone, while 19.88 lakh tonnes from 4.57 lakh hectares of land in four other districts of Bogra Agricultural Zone
Braving the dense fog and biting cold, transplantation of Boro seedlings gains momentum as the farmers in the Barind area of Rajshahi have put in all- out efforts to make the farming program successful in this season, official sources said.
According to the sources, the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) has set the target of producing 15.34 lakh tonnes of rice from 3.53 lakh hectares of land in four districts of Rajshahi Agricultural Zone, while 19.88 lakh tonnes from 4.57 lakh hectares of land in four other districts of Bogra Agricultural Zone.
Seedbeds on around 39,960 hectares of land including high yielding varieties on 37,239 hectares were developed to meet the seedling demand in the division.
Additional Director of DAE Sirajul Islam said all the district, upazila, and field level officials and others concerned are giving suggestions to the farmers to protect their seedbeds from cold injuries after covering their seedbeds with polythene at night.
Agricultural officials and farmers are very much hopeful about exceeding the farming target of Boro paddy this season because of farmers’ delight with the selling price of transplanted Aman paddy at present.
Nurul Amin Siddiqui, president of Kornohar Borobilla Water Management Association in Paba upazila, said the farmers of his area are passing busy days with transplanting of Boro seedlings and land preparation work.
He added the price of both Aman paddy and rice has increased for the last couple of weeks as a result of government-level Aman rice procurement drive inspiring the farmers to transplant paddy seedlings.
Besides, seedling transplantation activity has generated employment for many marginalized people.
Meanwhile, around 35.24 lakh tonnes of Irri-Boro rice are expected to be produced from 8.10 lakh hectares of land in all eight districts of the Rajshahi division during the current season, officials said.
The target has been set to produce 31.86 lakh tonnes of high yielding varieties of rice from 7.44 lakh hectares of land, 3.27 lakh tonnes of hybrid varieties from 61,680 hectares, and 7,930 tonnes of local varieties from 3,965 hectares of land.
Some 24,600 small and marginal farmers were given support with seed and fertilizers in the division under the government’s agriculture incentive programs to boost the Boro rice production.
Abu Rahman, a farmer of Gubirpara village under Tanore upazila, has been preparing for Boro cultivation on 20 bigha of land for the last couple of weeks. With the removal of stagnant water, he has started seedling transplantation on nine bigha of land in Bilkumary Beel.
“I have got a better price for the latest Aman paddy. So, I have started Boro transplantation early,” said Rahman, adding that day labourers are charging higher wages due to the present cold weather.
Abul Kashem, a farmer of Mayamari village under Niamatpur Upazila, said he has prepared seedbeds on 25 decimals of land for cultivating paddy on 18-bigha of land this season. He has started transplantation of seedlings.
Upazila Agriculture Officer Shamimul Islam said they have taken all possible preparations to make the Boro farming a total success.
There are 536 deep tube-wells and 41,174 shallow tube-wells with other low lift pumps to provide necessary irrigation to the farming fields in Tanore upazila, he added.
Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI) has taken diversified steps including farmers’ training, projection plot and supplying of the newly developed high yielding varieties among the growers to make the Irri-Boro farming a total success.
BRRI has released 14 varieties of paddy which are appropriate for Rajshahi region including its Barind area, said Dr Fazlul Islam, principal scientific officer of BRRI.