Boro Harvest: High yield but farmers worry over fair price


Business Desk :
The farmers, who are reaping a bumper harvest this Boro season, say they will suffer losses if the government does not increase the procurement price for their produce.
The farmers say the government’s procurement price of Tk 30 a kg will barely cover their production cost.
Besides, the farmers, who are forced to sell their produce before the government starts procuring on May 7, are suffering from losses as local traders buying their produce at a much lower rate.
Boro paddy have been cultivated on 49.9 lakh hectares of land across the country with the government eyeing a harvest of 2.15 crore tonnes.
So far, farmers have harvested 84 percent of the paddy from the haor areas and the overall harvest in the country stands at 21 percent.
“I had to spend around Tk 1,200 to produce a mound of paddy. But the government’s set procurement price is almost the same. How will I make a profit?” asked Kanchi Karmaker, a farmer of Dinajpur’s Birol upazila.
Mazed Ali, a farmer of Jogpur village in Rajshahi’s Godagari upazila, “In our area, paddy prices are fluctuating between Tk 1,050 and Tk 1,200 per maund. Traders are offering us low prices citing low-quality produce,”
Despite the low price, many farmers are being compelled to sell their harvest at lower prices as they need money to meet their daily expenses.
The government’s Boro procurement will continue till August 31.
“As per the government rate, the price per maund of rice will be around Tk 1,200. But I cannot wait [till the government starts procuring] as I need money right now to buy daily essentials for my family. So, I am selling my paddy at Tk 900 to Tk 950 per maund,” said Atiar Rahman, 67, a farmer of Mahendranagar village in Lalmonirhat Sadar upazila.
Despite the recent nor’westers and hailstorms in the Rajshahi region, farmers in most places are expecting a good yield this year due to mostly favourable weather.
“I have cultivated paddy on 15 bighas and expecting to get 30 mounds from each bigha. There was no disease in the paddy field this year,” said Ziauddin, a farmer of Duniabari village in Pabna’s Faridpur upazila.
Dozens of farmers in Dinajpur and Rangpur region also said they are expecting to have a good production.
In the Sylhet region, some farmers, who cultivated BRRI Dhan-28, said their produce was damaged by the Blast disease, caused by fungus.
Farmers there also alleged that officials of the local Department of Agricultural Extension did not cooperate with them to protect the crop.