Boro rice harvest in the haor belt continues amid severe scarcity of farm hands, Department of Agricultural Extension officials told New Age.
A grower has to pay at least Tk 600 to each labourer, double the normal rate, said field officers of the DAE.
Now, they said, the amount a labourer charges per day equals to the price of 40 kg of green rice.
Even then labourers are not available for reaping rice, they said.
The per day wage of a labourer would drop somewhat while reaping ripe rice when it would equal to the price of 30 kg of rice, said the DAE officials.
Despite the crisis, DAE field service officials said already approximately 40 per cent of boro rice had been harvested in the five haor districts of Sylhet, Sunamganj, Mouvibazaar, Netrokona and Kishoreganj.
In the rest of the country barely five per cent of boro rice had been harvested until now, they said.
They attributed the slow harvest in the other areas of the country to replantation of the crop as they were destroyed by floods time and again.
Throughout the country, they said, growers were using harvesters to reap the crop and threshers for separating grains from the stem.
Power tiller driven trucks are being used for taking the harvest to local markets or warehouses.
According to DAE control room, the boro rice on four lakh hectares across the country including on 1.55 lakh hectares in the haor belt had been harvested.
The haor belt’s bumper boro rice production restored the growers happy faces, they had lost in the last year due to heavy crop losses caused by repeated flash floods, said Md A Salam, DAE field service wing’s additional director for extension and coordination.
The first rice crop harvested, he said was the BR 28, as its transplantation occurs early.
Mizanur Rahman of Dingaputa Haor, Mohanganj, Netrokona said that his bumper output made him happy as it helped him overcome the losses he suffered last year due to recurrent flash floods.
Bilash Chandra Paul, DAE deputy director at Netrakona said that if the positive weather conditions continue the other farmers would also be able to reap bumper crops.
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