Speakers at a programme in Sunamganj on Saturday demanded immediate resumption of the government’s food friendly programme — ‘open market sale’ of rice, to support the farmers who had lost Boro rice crops in the flash-flood in March.
They also demanded steps to create alternative employment generation for the flood-hit people until they harvest the Boro rice, the lone annual crop in the haor region, in next year.
The speakers made the demands in a rally organised by Haor Banchaw, Sunamganj Banchaw Andolan, a social welfare group, at Alfaz Square in Sunamganj town in the afternoon.
They said about 95 per cent standing Boro rice on about 2,23,082 hectors of land was washed away during the flood caused by excessive rainfall and onrush of hilly water that affected more than 3.25 lakh families in the district.
Of the affected, some 1.5 lakh ultra-poor families were providing support under the Vulnerable Group Feeding (VGF) programme, but rest of the families were in serious crisis as they had no food and jobs, the speakers said.
They said the government had launched the OMS of rice at 110 centres in the district from April 6 and each of 200 people could buy 5 kg rice at Tk 75 everyday from the centres. But, the programme was closed down on July 31 and this decision intensified the food crisis among the flood-hit farmers, the speakers claimed.
The organisation’s convener Bazlul Mazid Chowdhury, and Abu Sufian, Bijoy Sen Roy, Chittaranjan Talukder, Bindu Talukder, Malek Hussain Pir, Bikash Ranjan Chowdhury, Sherenur Ali, Muhibur Rahman and Shahab Uddin, among others, addressed the rally.
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