A recent flood wreaked havoc in Bandarban’s Lama Upazila, resulting in the destruction of 4,412 hectares of crop fields. The agriculture sector suffered a staggering loss of Tk 35.49 crore, impacting around 2,450, the Lama Agriculture Extension Directorate reported on Thursday.
However, this assessment only covers the damage to flatlands, while efforts are underway to evaluate the harm to crops cultivated on hilly slopes.
The heavy rainfall that occurred from August 6 to August 9 triggered flooding caused by water runoff from various rivers and canals in Lama. This led to the devastation of diverse crops, including Aman paddy, Aman seeds, Aush, vegetables, bananas, and papayas. The floods resulted in the loss of 6,425 metric tonnes of Aman paddy and 3,046 metric tonnes of Aush paddy during this season.
According to sources from the Lama Upazila Agricultural Extension Directorate, the current season witnessed cultivation on 4,412 hectares of land. Among these, 4,412 hectares were inundated due to flooding from heavy rains and landslides. Out of this, crops on 3,617 hectares of land were completely destroyed, and crops on 1,667 hectares of land were partially damaged over the four-day flood period. This totals a staggering loss of 9,471 metric tonnes of crops. The most affected crops include aman paddy, bananas, papayas, and vegetables.
In addition, among the 350 hectares of banana plantations, 280 hectares experienced damage, while 910 hectares of papaya fields were affected. Lama’s diverse crop portfolio encompasses Aman and Aush paddy, vegetables, papayas, bananas, maize, chilli, ginger, turmeric, onions, sugarcane, and mustard.
Farmers like Md. Ishaq Mia (41) from Ibrahim Leader Para village in Lama Rupsipara Union shared their distress. Despite planting Aush paddy on six bighas of land and Aman and vegetables on ten bighas this year, incessant rains and the subsequent floods left all their crops submerged and rotting.
Kachinu Marma, a farmer from Merakhola village in Lama Sadar Union, narrated the grim situation of his one-and-a-half bigha Aush paddy plantation, which was entirely ruined by floodwaters.
Ratan Kumar Barman, Lama Upazila Agriculture Officer, indicated that the government has been informed about the damage assessment. Affected farmers will soon be included in rehabilitation and incentive programmes. Throughout the current Aman season, incentives were given to 800 farmers, building on the 2,400 supported during the Aush season and 3,600 during the Boro season. Additionally, 120 farmers received incentives for cultivating maize and mustard.