A stream of joy went through the farmers of the district after a long pause, as they witnessed a bumper production of Aman paddy this year exceeding all the pre-determined targets.
Locals said that the production rate was much higher this year as farmers planted high-yield variety of paddy over a larger portion of land.
As per the Agricultural Department, a total of 4.38 metric tonnes of paddy was produced per hectare which is much higher compared to past ten years.
The farmers said in each bighas of land 20 to 22 maunds of high-yielding Aman paddy was produced which provided Tk 15,000 profit excluding the production expenditures. Due to the high production the farmers were much more interested in cultivating high-yielding Aman.
Considering the local farmers, district Agricultural Extension Officers of the district suggested the government to buy paddy along with rice from the farmers.
The fragrance of ripened paddy has been floating around the Balaibunia, Ambaria, Kalikabari and Kichmatjamua villages of Morelganj upazila where some farmers are seen cutting rice, some taking piles of rice to their houses and some were spending busy times at the last minute preparations.
Some officials of Agriculture Department were advising the farmers for better production while farmers demanded different conveniences including Power Tiller and water irrigation system.
Shah Alam Khan, a farmer of Kichmatjamua village said “I have cultivated Aman rice in 12 bighas of land and in bighas, 25 maunds of paddy were produced. In per bighas of land I got Tk 20,000 profit after cutting down the production cost.”
Shah Alam who had been cultivating rice for past 30 years, after cultivating BRRI-67, said he had never seen such large amount of rice production in the past. He suggested spreading the seed of BRRI-67 across the country for bumper production.
A 70-year-old farmer Swapan Dhali of Ambaria village said “Agriculture is our profession and family tradition. We cultivated Aman in 25 bighas of land, the production was much higher which had been absent in last many years. Adequate care, good quality and lack of diseases contributed to the excessive production.”
Another farmer Suresh Kumar Dhali of same village collected the paddy at his house to preserve them and wishes to sell them when the price of rice will hike.
Nagen Mandal of Ambaria village said “I’m a farmer but I don’t have any land of my own. Every year I cultivate five bighas of land by taking lease from others. This year approximately 90 maunds of rice have been produced in that land. Half the rice will go to the owner’s house and the rest will be sold to bear the cost of my family.”
Tapan Das, Alamgir Hossain and Delowar Hossain, farmers of Balaibunia village said this year with the advice of Agriculture Department they cultivated different high-yielding varieties of rice.
Other farmers of Kaliabari village said that the country will live well if the farmers are able to live well.
They urged affirmative point of view of government to enhance the agricultural production as there is no alternative to rice cultivation to fulfill the demands of food in the country.
The farmers sought assistance of government to encourage more people in cultivation of paddy and active monitoring regarding the sale of produced rice and farmers profit.
14 kinds of high-yielding varieties of rice including draught, tide, salt and water stagnation resistant rice have been cultivated in at least half the land in nine upazilas of Bagerhat this year. Among them the farmers showed more interest in cultivating BRRI-67.
According to the Agriculture Department, rice was cultivated in a total of 1,40,596 hectares of land in the district. Among them Aman rice was cultivated in 73,651 hectares of land. High-yielding variety of rice was cultivated in 35,686 hectares of land and local kind in 37,965 hectares.
Per hectare, 4.38 metric tonnes of rice was produced this year while the target of production was 4.17 metric tonnes.
Agriculture Department said for sowing Aman rice, the work of seedbeds preparation begins on July 1 and the seeds were sowed from July 25. The cutting of paddy begins from November 1 and continues till second week of January which is a source of living for at least 2,44,970 families in the district.
Mejba Ahmed, Zakir Hossain and Mizanur Rahman, Deputy Assistants of Morelganj Agriculture Office said that they have been advising and encouraging the local farmers for using high-yielding paddy in their fields.
They hoped that the Aman production will be further amplified from the next year.
Deputy Director of Bagerhat Agricultural Extension Department Md Aftab Uddin said in the past ten years such large amount of Aman has never been produced in Bagerhat.