Char lands bring fortune for Rajshahi farmers

‘Chars’ emerging in the river Padma are bringing fortune to many farmers in Paba, Godagari and Bagha upazilas of the district during the last few years.Hundreds of farmers in the district are now very happy as the chars deposit of alluvial silt, have given them an opportunity to cultivate various crops and vegetables in their fields.For over two decades, the farmers were planting trees like mango, jujube and banana on those char lands. But, now, they are cultivating crops including paddy, wheat, lentil, sesame, mustard and vegetables, Pepper, onion, garlic, brinjal, cabbage, tomato and potato.Besides, this year they are preparing the char lands for Boro cultivation.
While visiting some of the char villages like Majardiar, Khidirpur, Khanpur, Lotabona and Shayampur under Paba upazila and Char Asariadaha under Godagari Uppazila this reporter found that the river bed of Padma dried up with only a narrow pool and several pockets of shallow ditches here and there.Farmers of char villages said char lands got more alluvial sediments during the last monsoon, which encouraged them to cultivate Boro paddy.Abu Kalam, a farmer of Majardiar village, wants to cultivate Boro on six bighas of land, Adadul Islam Ali on three bighas, Ajahar Ali and Abdur Razzaque on five bighas of land respectively and Mushabar Ali on 10 bighas.Golam Mostafa, farmer of Char Asariadaha village said they want to cultivate Boro paddy but they are facing problems because in the char villages, there is no fertiliser or fuel dealer.Moreover, carrying fertiliser, fuel and other commodities to the Char land is troublesome because no vehicle travels over those dried and sub- merged lands. They have to carry them on their shoulders.
“In the previous years, it was not possible to plant trees or cultivate crops and vegetables on char lands. But the farmers have now started cultivating crops there which have changed the scenario of charlands, Golam Mostafa added.According to Paba Upazila Agriculture office sources, last year farmers of Char Majhardiar cultivated Boro on around 1,500 hectares and char farmers of Khidirpur cultivated on 3,500 hectares.Farmers demanded appointment of dealers for fuel and fertiliser on char areas to save their extra traveling cost and time for collecting fertilisers from city.“We couldn’t yet appoint any fertilizer and fuel dealer in the char areas due to various reasons in this regard,” said Saleh Ahmed, Upazila Agriculture Officer of Paba.Besides, he said, monitoring of the sale of fuel and fertiliser is very hard in char areas as there is a chance of smuggling fuel out and smuggling in of substandard fertilizers. Mofidul Islam Bachhu, Chairman of Harian Union said that the farmers have already informed him about the fertiliser and fuel problem.He has already discussed the matter with the authority concerned so that the problem of char people could be solved at the earliest. -BSS, Rajshahi