Last-stage boro harvest hints at bumper production

Farmers deprived of better price due to slow govt procurement
The county is going to get a ‘bumper’ production of boro rice with the growers nearing the finishing stage of the harvesting of the major variety of the crop in terms of production volume, said the Department of Agricultural Extension and the growers.
DAE officials said the ongoing dry weather condition along with an absence of natural calamities favoured the farmers to get a good harvest of boro paddy despite the fact that the growers suffered severe shortage of labours.
The officials, however, said that the farmers were yet to start getting better prices of their produce due to sluggish procurement of boro rice by the millers enlisted by the government.
According to the DAE field service wing, more than 85 per cent of boro paddy has already been harvested up to May 24.
The growers cultivated boro on about 48 lakh hectares of land during the current 2013-14 crop year.
Some 1,87,78,154 tonnes of boro rice was produced during the last financial year 2012-13 with per hectare yield of 3.94 tonnes, said Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics.
DAE deputy director (monitoring) Md Rafiqul Hasan told New Age on Saturday that boro production was seen ‘bumper’ as the average per hectare production was estimated at 6.5 tonnes.
Besides, per hectare production of some verities including Bri-58 paddy has been estimated at 7.5 to 8 tonnes, he said adding that boro crop had not so far faced natural damage or insect attack this year.
Under the circumstances, the farmers have urged the government to ensure better prices of their
produce by purchasing paddy directly from them.
Harun-ur Rashid, a farmer leader based at Ambikapur in the Faridpur district, told New Age that the farmers were satisfied with slightly higher price of boro paddy during the current season compared with the price in the previous year.
Some growers at Bajitpur upazila of the Kishoreganj district said that they were selling boro paddy at the rate of Tk 650 to Tk 750 a maund (37.32 kilogram) at the local markets.
Although the production cost of boro rice has increased in the current year but farmers are happy with good harvest, they said.
Asked, Nirod Baran Saha, president of Naogaon Dhan o Chal Aratdar Samity, told New Age that coarse variety of boro paddy was selling a maund at Tk 660 to Tk 680 while middle fine variety at Tk 720 to Tk 730 and the fine variety at Tk 830 to Tk 850 at the local markets.
He said that farmers were seen selling paddy less quantity at the local markets as they were trying to hoard boro rice after drying up due to favourable weather during the current season.
According to the food department, the government has targeted to procure about 10 lakh tonnes of boro rice with a rate of Tk 31 a kilogram and also some 1.5 lakh tonnes of paddy with Tk 20 a kg during the current boro season.
The procurement of boro rice began on May 1 and it would continue until August 30, officials said adding that about 30,000 tonnes of rice had already been procured.
Asked, Ahmed Hossain Khan, director general of the food department, told New Age on Saturday that the government’s procurement of boro rice would hopefully get momentum from the first week of June as the government would complete renewing agreements with all millers across the country by May 26.
The government has decided to enlist about 12,000 millers this year for supplying rice and paddy.
It cancelled licences of about 2,500 millers which were identified as ‘defaulters’ during the outgoing fiscal year, he said.

-With New Age input

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