Peanut growers in char areas of the district are harvesting premature crops following the rise of water in the Padma, Madhumati and Kumar rivers.
The farmers of over 50 chars are now busy harvesting unripe peanut as the rise of water in the rivers has created panic among them.
Usually, low-income people in Sadar, Madhukhali, Alfadanga, Charbhadrashon, Boalmari and Sadarpur upazilas are cultivating peanut for the last 7-8 years due to greater profit against low investment, said Ayub Ali, chairman of Charmonai Union Parishad.
“Peanut cultivation in the char lands is gaining popularity due to its better yields,” he added.
Hamid Ali Mandal, a resident of North Channel union in Sadar upazila, said, “People have recognised peanut as ‘gold of chars’. The people of char areas have changed their lives by peanut cultivation.”
Even the landless people can earn money by working on others’ land, said the farmer. “Besides, peanut leaves are also used as fodder.”
According to sources at the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE), 6,125 hectares of land have been brought under peanut cultivation this time against the target of 5,850 hectares.
During a recent visit to the char areas, the UNB correspondent found the farmers engaged in early peanut harvesting.
Moazzem Hossain, a grower of Dicrirchar union in Sadar upazila, said they were harvesting the unripe peanut fearing flood.
DAE Deputy Director Kartic Chandra Chakrawarty told UNB that the peanut cultivation has exceeded the target this season. “This has changed the fate of char people as it is a profitable crop,” he added.
He said the government earlier provided 10 kgs of peanut seeds and 15 kgs of fertilizer to 600 farmers each to inspire them.