Dhaka, Bangladesh
Boro farmers opt for other crops as fair price denied

Boro farmers opt for other crops as fair price denied

Our Correspondent NILPHAMARI, March 20: Boro cultivation area in five northern districts of Rangpur agriculture region has been decreasing for the last few years, raising concern about the country's staple food. Admitting the matter, Additional Director (AD) of the Rangpur regional Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) Shah Alam said it is happening as they advise farmers to reduce irrigation-based boro cultivation area and go for cultivation of other crops as the region's underground water layer is falling alarmingly every year. According to the information provided by regional DAE, boro paddy is being cultivated on 5,02,283 hectares of land in Rangpur, Gaibandha, Nilphamari, Kurigram and Lalmonirhat this year. The cultivation area of boro was 5,21,283 hectares in 2015, while it was 5,11,686 hectares last year. On the other hand, potato cultivation area increased by 10,357 hectares in the last two years -- from 90,255 hectares in 2015 to 1,00,612 hectares in 2017. Maize cultivation area has also risen in the last two years -- from 65,200 hectares in 2015 to 76,424 hectares this year. Farmer Monwar Hossain of Ketokibari village in Domar upazila of the district said, "I cultivated potato on four acres of land this year, and transplanted boro on three acres and jute on one acre, though I cultivated boro on all my lands in previous years." Amzad Hossain, a farmer of Burirhat village in Gongachara village of Rangpur said, "I will incur loss in cultivating boro as production cost for a maund of paddy is Tk 750 to Tk 800, but I get Tk 500 to Tk 600 when I want to sell." Farmers Golam Mostofa, Mosirat Fakir and Shamsul Islam of Sadar upazila said that they opted for cultivation of other crops as those are profitable. President of the district unit of Krishak Samity Dreedam Das said although the government fixed purchasing rate of a maund paddy at Tk 800, farmers are being deprived of it. "We encourage farmers to cultivate multiple crops other than irrigation-based boro paddy as water layer in the region is falling. Moreover, farmers are benefited by cultivating potato, maize, mustard seeds and wheat as they are getting more profit compared to boro," said DAE AD Shah Alam.

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