Over 2.89 lakh hectares of standing crops, including seasonal aman paddy, in 13 districts were badly damaged by cyclone Bulbul that hit Bangladesh coast on Saturday night.
According to a primary report of the Department of Agricultural Extension, Bulbul damaged more than 2.70 lakh hectares of standing aman paddy alone, which was about 22 per cent of the country’s total aman area.
When asked, DAE director general Abdul Muyeed told New Age that the agriculture minister Mohammad Abdur Razzaque would brief the media today morning about the losses caused by the cyclonic storm.
He said that field officials had already embarked on advising affected farmers on how to recoup the crop losses and also to raise new crops.
He further said that the government would consider providing incentives to the affected farmers.
At least 13 people were killed in different coastal districts as Bulbul lashed Khulna and the adjoining southwestern parts of the country on Saturday night before weakening into a deep depression.
DAE officials provided to this daily a crop-wise breakup of the agricultural losses due to the storm.
Of the crops damaged, vegetables were on 7,696 hectares, kheshari on 8,163 hectares, betel leaf on 1,276 hectares, mustard on 711 hectares, banana on 468 hectares, papaya on 803 hectares, potato on 50 hectares and ground nut on 10 hectares.
In addition to Khulna, they said, crops were affected by Bulbul also in Sathkira, Bagerhat, Noakhali, Feni, Lakshmimpur, Chandpur, Barishal, Pirojpur, Barguna, Patuakhali, Jhalakati and Bhola.
DAE officials advised that the affected farmers should remove the excess water from their croplands and then prepare these for boro seedbed or for growing mustard, maize, pulse and potato.
They also advised that mature paddy should be harvested immediately, adding that unripe paddy plants could be bound in bunches and supported with sticks.
Paddy farmers were also advised to use fertiliser potash in the affected paddylands after the water receded and vegetable farmers to raise new vegetables in the affected lands after removal of the water.
DAE agriculturists suggested that the domestic animals and poultry birds should be kept in dry lands.
Sher-e-Bangla Agricultural University’s agronomy professor Abdullahil Baque told New Age that the upcoming robi crops would be delayed in the cyclone-hit areas.
Among the standing crops, the aman output would be largely affected under the impact of cyclone, he said.
To compensate for the loss of aman output, he suggested, hybrid boro paddy could be cultivated in the coming boro season.
He also advised that short-duration crops should be introduced in the affected districts.
The New Age correspondent in Satkhira reported that 5,017 fish enclosures and 25,000 hectares of crops were damaged by the cyclonic storm in the district.
Of the total affected crop area, 15,000 hectares of transplanted aman were totally destroyed.
The losses in the fisheries sector were estimated to be Tk 10.56 crore, said officials concerned.
Satkhira district fisheries officer Moshiour Rahman said that a total of 5,017 fishery enclosures in Shyamnagar, Kaliganj, Ashashuni and Tala upazilas were washed away during the cyclone.
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