Floodwater late to recede from BD's Sunamganj Haors – Farming delayed

Floodwater late to recede from BD’s Sunamganj Haors – Farming delayed

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Dhaka, Dec 28 – Over 40,000 farmers in Tahirpur upazila of Sunamganj district, in northeast Bangladesh are in trouble as the floodwater in Haor areas (large water bodies) still remains stagnated, hampering Boro cultivation.Although the Boro cultivation was supposed to begin this month, the farmers fear that they will not be able to start it next month if the floodwater does not recede.
This year’s excessive rainfall and flashfloods have destroyed what was left of the crops, forcing the farmers to look ahead and remain optimistic about the Boro crops, which still hangs in the balance.
According to sources at Tahirpur upazila agriculture office, Boro farming usually takes place on some 18,000 hectares of land in 23 small and large Haor areas.
Early this year, the flood protection dam in the Haor area collapsed, destroying huge standing Boro crops. The fragile dam collapsed due to its construction with substandard materials by unscrupulous contractors in connivance with some dishonest Water Development Board officials.
The farmers were expecting that they might be able to turn things around this year, but the stagnated water is set to dash their hope this time, too.
Kayes Miah, a farmer of Ramjibonpur village in Shani Haor’s Dakkhin Sreepur union, said half of Boro crops are usually cultivated by the middle of the Bengali month of Poush, but this year it looks highly unlikely. Today is the 15th of the Bengali month but due to stagnation of flood water fields cannot be readied for transplanting paddy seedlings.
Enamul Kabir, another farmer from Matian Haor, said if things do not change in the next 10 days, there will be no point in hoping for Boro cultivation this season.
According to the farmers, the scenario is almost the same in most Haor areas and they fear the Boro crops are not cultivated in time, it will be useless to do so during the off-season.
Abdus Salam, agriculture officer at Tahirpur, said the water level is falling but at a very slow pace. He thinks that it will be possible to go for Boro farming within the next 15 days. – UNB

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