As paddy farmers across the district have started harvesting the Boro crops, its price remain very low at the growers’ level.Per maund of Boro paddy is selling at Tk 300 -Tk 420 at the growers’ level, and between Tk 400 – Tk 600 at the local markets in the district, though the production cost this season is estimated to be around Tk 800.
Although the government has declared to start its paddy procurement offering a price of Tk 32 for per kg rice and Tk 22 for per kg paddy
from May 1, it has failed to create any impact on the paddy price in the district.Dulal Mian, a farmer of Bhatshala village in Sadar upazila, said he is selling the paddy at Tk 400 per maund, whereas counting Tk 500 as wage for each of the day labourers who have been contracted for harvesting the paddy.“I’ve spent about Tk 32,000 on growing paddy in 1 acre of land. I’ve harvested about 70 maunds of paddy from the field that are selling at Tk 400 per maund. Though the production is fine, its causing me a huge loss,” he said. According to officials at the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE), as more lands in the district were brought under Boro cultivation this season compared to the previous season, the output is also going to exceed the target of 3.55 lakh tonnes.DAE deputy director Dr Md Abdus Salam said the price of paddy at the growers’ level is remaining low, but it is expected to increase with the start of the government’s procurement drive in the district. Farmers, however, expressed their doubt over the prospect of increase in the paddy price with the initiation of the procurement drive because the government will collect the rice and paddy from the traders, not from the farmers. -UNB, Sherpur