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Bangladesh - 3 weeks ago

Farmers are ‘unhappy’ even with a bumper yield of paddy

Staff Correspondent: Despite government directives, paddy procurement has not started in Chuadanga so far. Not being able to sell rice to the government has raised apprehension among the farmers about getting a suitable price.
Farmers say that paddy has to be sold in the open market at a much lower price than the price set by the government. The food department says that they could not make any decisions about buying paddy from farmers due to various complications.
The aroma of ripe rice is spreading in the fields of Chuadanga,a district rich in rice production. Golden ears of rice are swaying in the wind. Everyone is busy cutting and threshing paddy despite the heat. This is a different kind of smile on the farmers’ faces because they have dreamed of putting a smile on the faces of their families with the money from the sale of this year’s boro season crop.
Even though the house and yard are filled with golden rice, the farmers’ faces are not smiling. The farmers’ smiles fade while selling the hard-earned paddy in the market. Most of the small and marginal farmers in the district have experienced the bitter reality of seasonal Boro paddy prices, leading to losses.
Farmer Johnny Mia of Hatikata village in ChuadangaSadar is busy collecting paddy from 10 bighas of land now. But in need of cash, he has to sell some of the rice he has already collected, but he cannot sell it at a price proportional to the production cost.
Johnny Mia said, “I can’t sell the rice even at the government’s price because of the syndicate. We can sell at a maximum of 850-900 Tk. As a result, we cannot profit.”
Another farmer named Rahim said, “From the month of Kartika to Boishakh, we cannot make a profit in proportion to the hard work we do.”
Due to the indifference and lack of coordination of the authorities, the farmers are still unable to sell the rice officially. Even though the price of paddy is Tk 1,280 per maund set by the government, paddy has to be sold outside at a much lower price. Farmers claim that paddy is being sold at Tk 850 to Tk 900 per maund in the open market, which does not cover the production cost.
The agriculture department says that the yield of boro rice in Chuadanga has been good due to favorable weather conditions. In the current season, the target for Boro was 34,800 hectares, but 35,720 hectares of land have been cultivated, aiming for a rice production target of 156,810 metric tons, with a market value of about Tk 700 crore.
Bivas Chandra Saha, Deputy Director of the Agriculture Extension Department, said, “In this period, 100% paddy harvesting has been completed in four upazilas of the district.”
District Food Control Officer Suprakash Chakma said, “After overcoming all the complications, the collection of paddy and rice from the real farmers will begin very soon.”

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