This year, many farmers in the haor areas of Sunamganj’s Jagannathpur upazila have still not been able to prepare boro paddy seedbeds due to “water stagnation in their farm lands”.
In Nalua Haor, the largest among the swamps, farmers say they are facing real difficulties in draining out the water from their fields mainly because of a blockade at the Bhurakhali sluice gate by fish cultivators.
This blockade, the farmers say, has been posing as the biggest hurdle for them to prepare the seedbeds for cultivating boro paddy this winter for summer harvest. Seedbed finishing is the final step in soil preparation for sowing crops.
“This year, boro crop cultivation has been hit as the tenants of Hamhami Jalmahal have blocked the waterway with bamboos and nets for fishing,” says Mia, a farmer from Bhurakhali village.
Another farmer, Nagendra Das, a resident of Dasnowagaon village, claims that
waterlogging has rendered his 1.2 acres of land in the haor uncultivable. Despite several complaints, he alleges, authorities are yet to redress their problems.
“Cultivation this year has been disrupted due to the non-discharge of water from farm lands,” says Randhir Das, a member of the local union council.
When contacted, Jagannathpur Upazila Agriculture Officer Shawkat Osman Majumder admitted that he was apprised of the problems by the local farmers.
“Some 6,500 hectares of land are cultivated in Nalua Haor every year. Anyway, I have asked the lessees to remove the dam as soon as I got the news of the disruption. If the lessees do not remove the dam, we will take legal action,” he said.