The agriculture department expects to produce Aman paddy worth Tk 6,200 crore in the Rangpur agricultural region this time. Out of which, more than Tk 200 crore worth of paddy has been produced in 37,000 hectares of land in Teesta Barrage Command area, the largest irrigation project in the country.
Water Development Board Teesta Barrage Dahlia Division Extension Officer Rafiul Bari said that despite the low availability of upstream water in the dry season, farmers in the Irrigation Command area are taking 18 to 20 mounds of paddy per bigha of land from the Teesta Barrage Irrigation Project during the current Aman paddy cultivation. Under the irrigation project, they have been becoming self-sufficient by irrigating these areas for the last one decade with irrigation water. Irrigation in the command area of Teesta Barrage, the largest irrigation project in the country for irrigation in Kharif-2 season, has been targeted at 30,000 hectares in Nilphamari Sadar, Jaldhaka, Dimla, Kishoreganj, Syedpur, Parbatipur and Gangachara upazilas.
Besides, farmers planted Boro paddy in 50,000 hectares of land in Nilphamari Sadar, Jaldhaka, Dimla, Kishoreganj, Syedpur, Parbatipur and Gangachara in the last Boro season in the irrigation water of Teesta Barrage Command area. In this, they have been able to save Tk 20 crore in electricity and diesel fuel. Asfauddullah, executive engineer of Teesta Barrage Dahlia Division, said that if a farmer planted paddy in one hectare of land with an electric irrigator, his irrigation cost would be 10,500 Tk. The cost of diesel powered irrigation machine is Tk 14 thousand. Irrigation in the command area of Teesta Barrage costs the farmer only Tk 1,200 per hectare. On the other hand, as seen in the production, the farmers irrigated 5.5 metric tons of paddy per hectare in electric and diesel powered irrigation. But Teesta irrigation is producing more than 6 metric tons of paddy per hectare. Overall, it can be seen that the farmers have saved a lot amount of money. Again, it has produced paddy worth around Tk 200 crore.
Belal Hossain, a farmer from Nautara village, said the bumper crop of paddy has been harvested due to the availability of more water in the irrigation project than in the last few years. However, the expected price of paddy in the market is not that they still able to receive.
Meanwhile, Aman has been cultivated in 6 lakh 14 thousand 295 hectares of land in five districts of Rangpur agricultural region Nilphamari, Rangpur, Lalmonirhat, Kurigram and Gaibandha this season. The production target has been set at 16 lakh 19 thousand 231 metric tons of rice. Its average market value is about 6 thousand 200 crore Tk.
Touhidul Iqbal, Additional Director, Rangpur Region, Department of Agricultural Extension, said the area under Aman has increased this year due to favorable weather and yield has increased. Discussions have been held in various government departments including district administration, food department and consumer rights to give proper market price.