Kushtia boro paddy farmers eye bumper yield

Farmers in Kushtia are expecting a bumper production of Boro paddy this season as they brought vast tracts of land under cultivation exceeding the target despite labour crisis due to shutdown enforced following coronavirus pandemic.This time, farmers cultivated Boro paddy exceeding the target in six upazilas of the district and harvesting has already started, said agriculture officials in the district.
According to Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE), boro paddy was cultivated on 33,275 hectares of land in Kushtia in the current season with a production target of 1,99,650 metric tonnes.
Various high-yielding and hybrid varieties of paddy have been cultivated on vast areas of the district. Among the hybrid varieties, farmers set a target of producing 4.7tonnes per hectare from Sonar Bangla-1, Gold and Jagoron, 3.7 tonnes per hectare from high-yielding variety (Ufsi) BRRI-28, BRRI-29, Hira and Gazi paddy.
If there is no disaster or natural calamity, the production will be higher than the target, said marginal farmers and agriculture department officials.
Farmers have started harvesting in Kaburhat, Baradi, Joynabad, Battail and Mollategharia villages under Sadar upazila.
Abdul Malek, a farmer from Baradi area of Kushtia Sadar Upazila, said, “The Boro paddy yield is very good this time. Due to favorable weather, proper use of fertilizers, pesticides and irrigation, the paddy has grown much longer.”
The farmer expects that they will get 15-16 to 17-18 maunds of paddy per bigha.
Due to the coronavirus situation, there is a serious crisis of labourers to harvest paddy. However, combine harvesters are being provided to the farmers by the government at a subsidized rate to cut paddy and overcome the crisis.
In six upazilas of the district, 12 combine harvesters, three reaper machines and a rice trans-planter have been sanctioned or the farmers, according to sources at the DAE.
The farmers will pay half of the total price of the combine harvesters and it will bear the rest of the cost. Farmers have already purchased six combine harvesters at a subsidized rate through a committee formed by the Department of Agriculture and the government.
DAE officials said the paddy is being harvested maintaining social distance and following hygiene rules.
DAE deputy director Shyamal Kumar Biswas said they have provided all the necessary cooperation and advice to the farmers since the beginning of Boro cultivation.
Besides, a favourable weather also contributed to good yield of Boro paddy in the district this season, he said, reports UNB from Kushtia.