Boro output likely to drop in Rangpur for irrigation crisis

Boro output likely to drop in Rangpur for irrigation crisis

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Boro paddy output in 12 upazilas in Rangpur (agricultural) region will fall drastically due to the lack of irrigation under the Teesta Barrage Project during the current season, observed farmers and officials. About 65,000-hectare land was cultivated for the dry-season (Boro) paddy in 12 upazilas in Rangpur, Nilphamari and Dinajpur districts under the Teesta Barrage Project, but the paddy output may fall far behind the 2,52,000-tonne-target due to lack of irrigation, they noted. Abdur Razzak, a farmer of Gangachara Upazila in Rangpur, cultivated Boro paddy on 3 bighas (one bigha = 33 decimal) land in this season instead of 8 bighas he cultivated in the last season, because there was an uncertainty over getting the water from the Teesta Barrage Project. Even after reducing the cultivation area, the farmers are not getting sufficient water for irrigation, he alleged. An official of the Teesta Barrage Project, preferring anonymity, admitted that the land brought under the project did not get the water needed for the paddy cultivation this season. For the cultivation of paddy in the dry (Boro) season, growers in the area usually depend on the water made available by the Teesta Barrage Project, but a very low water flow has been recorded at the barrage area, the official added. Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB) executive engineer at Dalia station, Mahbubar Rahman, told UNB that to compensate the farmers who couldn’t irrigate their land for lack of water, they have decided to ration out some food grains to the farmers. Sources of the Water Development Board said at least 8000 cusecs (cubic metre per second) water flow is required to operate the project, whereas the flow has reduced to 400-500 cusecs between February and March this year. Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) deputy director (Rangpur Region) Firoz Ahmed told UNB that the production of Boro paddy is likely to decline for want of irrigation this season. – UNB

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