Agriculture officials and farmers in the southern region including Barguna district fear that they will not be able to achieve the target of Aman cultivation this year due to seed shortage, caused by heavy downpour.
Farmers say that even after preparing the fields, many lands will remain uncultivated. The scarcity of seeds and its high price has raised concerns about the cultivation of Aman, the main crop of the coastal district of Barguna.
The district Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) office also said that it would not be possible to achieve the target of Aman this season.
The seed shortage has occurred in Barguna as the seedbeds were damaged due to waterlogging caused by continuous rains.
According to the data of the District Water Development Board, some 477mm of rain was recorded in Barguna during the last week of July. Apart from this, about 100mm of rain in August flooded the Aman seedbeds and destroyed the seedlings.
Farmers said that those who had built seedbeds on high land could save their seedlings. Many people are buying those seedlings. However, the price of rice seeds is at least Tk200 per kg in the local market. As a result, poor farmers are in trouble due to the loss of seedlings.
Deputy Director of Barguna District DAE Officer Abu Syed Jobaidul Alam said this year, all the seedbeds of Aman were submerged due to the flooding caused by continuous rains. Almost all the seedlings were destroyed.
He said: “Aman is the main crop of Barguna farmers. But it will not be possible to achieve our target.”
According to the DAE, the main crop of the farmers in the coastal area is Ropa Aman. The government helps the farmers with seeds.
Around 55% of Barguna’s land is cultivated with three varieties of high-yielding rice, namely BR, Bri and Bina. Apart from the three, other local varieties are planted in the remaining 45% of the land.
The target for Aman cultivation was 980,800 hectares of land in Barguna this year.
Among them 25,400 hectares in Barguna Sadar, 23,371 in Amtali, 16,827 hectares in Patharghata, 16,230 in Taltali, 10,692 in Betagi, and 6,330 in Baman Upazila. Hybrid, high yielding and local varieties of Aman are reported to be cultivated in these lands.