Vol. 5 Num 802 Mon. August 28, 2006  
Front Page

Prolonged drought frustrates farmers
1,24,000 hectares in North lie fallow

Over 1,24,000 hectares of land for Aman cultivation lie fallow in 16 northern districts of the country due to lack of rainfall this year.

Agriculture Extension Department sources said they had set a target of around 16,70,000 hectare of land to be used for Aman cultivation in Rangpur and Rajshahi region. But only 15,46,000 hectare was used for cultivation until August 22.

The department sources said more than 63,000 hectares of lands in eight districts of Rangpur zone are left unutilised due to drought and lack of irrigation facilities. The department had targeted local and high-yielding Aman breeds on 9,99,140 hectares of land but the department only achieved around 9,36,000 hectares till August 22.

In Rajshahi zone, Aman on 6,10,000 hectares was achieved against the targeted 6,67,970 hectares.

Agriculturist Md Abul Bashar, deputy director Bogra Agriculture Extension Department, said if it does not rain sufficiently within a week the Aman production will be hampered largely. He said if there is no rainfall before the first week of September the harvest might drop by 15 percent.

The production may reduce further up to 50 percent depending on areas and position of land, Bashar added.

Agriculture Extension Department sources said no rainfall was recorded in the last week across the Rajshahi agriculture zone. Around 3,553 millimetre (mm) of rainfall was recorded in July, 2005 but last July it was only 1,711 mm.

Rangpur agriculture zone recorded 4,948 mm of rainfall during July, 2005. Around 2,402 mm of rainfall had been recorded in Rangpur areas in last July. In 2005 August, Rangpur zone recorded 4,553 mm of rainfall but this year 1,149 mm of rainfall was recorded up to August 22.

An unusual scene in Chalan Beel. People can hardly recall when the largest wetland in the northern region last dried up during the rainy season. PHOTO: STAR