Farmers face labour crisis in Chuadanga

Published : 15 May 2022 08:40 PM

Chuadanga has received moderate and sometimes heavy rains due to cyclone Ashani. Vast boro fields in Chuadanga district have been inundated by rains for several days. Paddy in the field is being wasted in water. 

Seedlings have started sprouting from wet paddy after being brought ashore. It has shattered the golden dream of the farmer. There are tears in the eyes of the farmers now. Farmers have already started taking paddy from the fields. Many farmers are working to raise boro paddy with their wives and children as they are not able to get workers even with extra wages.

It has been seen in different villages of the district that the farmers are suffering with paddy. Many farmers are cutting paddy in knee deep water. Again some are trying to keep the cut paddy knees high out of the water. Many farmers are collecting cut rice husks floating in the water. Many are threshing wet paddy again.

Standing next to a paddy field, he talked to Minarul Haque, a farmer from Hogaldanga village in Damurhuda upazila. He said it used to cost 5-6 thousand rupees to bring one bigha of paddy in the house. Now the cost has gone up a lot due to water. It costs 6 thousand rupees to cut paddy in just one bidha land. As there is water in the land, paddy has to be brought home by bullock cart. You have to pay 6 thousand rupees to rent a car. It will still cost 3 thousand rupees to shake the paddy.

Samet Uddin, a paddy farmer from Karpasdanga village, said ripe paddy was under water. Due to this the paddy is rotting. Besides, seedlings are coming out from the paddy. No workers are available for harvesting paddy. Even with 800 to 900 rupees the workers do not match. So I am cutting paddy with my wife and son and taking it home.

Akimul Islam, a farmer from Manoharpur village in Jivannagar upazila, said in a tearful voice that the water started flowing after the paddy was harvested. Paddy of three bighas of land has not been brought home yet. It all ended because of the water.

According to the Chuadanga Agriculture Extension Department, farmers have planted boro paddy in 36,609 hectares of land in four upazilas of Chuadanga district this season. Paddy has been harvested from 31,589 hectares of land till May 11. There are still 5,140 hectares of land left to be harvested.

Vibhas Chandra Saha, deputy director of the district agriculture extension department, said at least 1,250 hectares of paddy land was damaged due to the impact of cyclone Ashani. Before the rains, farmers cut 60 percent of the land and took it home. Other farmers have suffered due to rains.