Drought casts shadow over boro yield in Khulna

These days, farmers in Khulna district are a worried lot. Having grappled with drought and the unrelented heat wave for the past eight months, the farmers fear they may not be able to even recover the production cost of boro paddy this year.

Though the farmers are now looking towards the government for some financial help, there has been word from the authorities concerned on the situation so far. "We expected a good harvest, but inclement weather played spoilsport in harvesting this year," said a farmer.

In fact, the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) in Khulna has set a target to produce 57,000 metric tonnes of boro paddy on 57,540 hectares of land this year, of which 21,000 hectares have been brought under the dry season rice cultivation in Dumuria upazila alone.

Already, many farmers have harvested their paddy and threshing work is on. Boro is the dry season irrigated rice crop planted between December and early February and harvested from April to June.

Also read: Govt to buy 11.50 lakh mts Boro rice

However, the production of boro paddy may not be as projected in Khulna this year. Experts also attribute the inevitable shortfall in boro paddy output to drought, excessive heat, and dry weather in the district.

Additional deputy director of Khulna DAE, Mohammad Atiqul Islam told UNB, “Boro paddy cultivation depends on adequate irrigation. Absence of rain for the past eight months and high temperature have damaged boro crops."

According to experts, boro paddy can tolerate upto 36 degrees Celsius but mercury soared 40 degrees last month in Khulna. "However, the production of high-yielding varieties is unlikely to take a hit," said an expert.

One mound of paddy is sold anywhere between Tk 1,050-1,100 in local markets.

Source: United News of Bangladesh