RANGPUR, Despite notable damages caused to standing Aush rice crop by recent floods, officials are expecting its bumper production as harvesting is nearing completion this season in Rangpur agriculture region.
The Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) officials said farmers have already completed harvesting Aush rice crop on 43,645 hectares of land producing over 1.37-lakh tonnes of clean rice (2.06-lakh tonnes of paddy) in the region.
Before floods in July last, farmers cultivated Aush rice on 55,530 hectares of land, higher by 755 hectares than the fixed farming target on 54,775 heaters of land to produce 1.54-lakh tonnes of clean rice (2.34-lakh tonnes of paddy) in the region.
Last year, farmers produced 1.23-lakh tonnes of Aush rice from 40,618 hectares of land against the fixed production target of 68,969 tonnes from 26,159 heaters, Horticulture Specialist of the DAE at its regional office Khondker Md. Mesbahul Islam said.
Despite causing production loss of 28,665 tonnes of Aush rice worth Taka 59.30 crore on 7,754 hectares of land by recent floods, farmers are harvesting the remaining Aush rice crop on 47,776 hectares of land this season in the region.
After harvesting on 43,645 hectares of land so far, farmers are continuing harvesting Aush rice on reaming more 4,131 hectares of land now, Islam said.
After completion of Aush rice harvest soon in the region, the total Aush rice output might be around 1.49-lakh tonnes of clean rice this season, higher by 26,000 tonnes of Aush rice than last year.
Talking to BSS, Deputy Director of DAE for Rangpur region M Moniruzzaman said farmers exceeded the fixed Aush rice cultivation target this time following various realistic programs taken by the government.
The programs include distribution of special intensives, providing technical support to farmers and conducting motivational campaigns.
Under the programs, the government distributed special incentives in terms of Aus rice seed and fertilisers worth Taka 5.75 crore among 34,029 small and marginal farmers of all five districts in Rangpur agriculture region this season.
Each of the beneficiary farmers got 5 kg high yielding variety Aush rice seed, 15 kg Di-ammonium phosphate and 10 kg Murrieta of Potash fertilisers free of costs to cultivate Aush rice on one bigha of land, he said.
Additional Director of DAE for Rangpur region Muhammad Ali said the profitable Aush rice cultivation regained popularity among farmers in last ten years as a result of special steps taken by the present government.
The farmer are reaping more profits through cultivation of Aush rice at lower costs using unused seasonal rain water during May, June and July as an additional crop on the lands those remain fallow during the off season, Ali said.
After harvesting Aush rice by August, farmers can easily cultivate T-Aman rice on the same land to further increase rice production for attaining sustainable national food security, Ali added.
Talking to BSS, local farmers Hossain Ali and Mofizar Rahman said they had already harvested their Aush rice crop and got excellent yield rate of 3.15 tonnes of clean rice per hectare of land on an average this season.
They also expressed satisfaction over the current excellent market price between Taka 650 and 750 per mound (every 40 kilogram) of the newly harvested Aus paddy in local markets.
Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)