Padma Times Desk: The green fields are now full of ripe rice. The air of Bengal is filled with the smell of Aman rice. Matowara farmers in the smell of ripe paddy. Fields are scattered with golden rice. The horizon is covered with yellow color. Aman paddy harvesting has started in different parts of the country but the rice market has not been affected. Farmers are not getting fair price even in paddy market. Farmers are talking about losses now. The farmer is worried about paying the moneylender’s loan. Meanwhile, the strike-blockade has become a poison on God.
The farmer is running in the field with sickle before the sun rises. Paddy harvesting festival has started all over the country. Farmers are busy with rice threshing, sorting and selling. Early paddy harvesting has started in Mymensingh, Netrakona, Habiganj, Tangail, Jamalpur, Sherpur, Bogra, Barendra region, Magura, Dinajpur and Naogaon areas. Women agricultural workers have also joined the march of cutting and threshing paddy in hilly areas of Barendra region and Mymensingh. On one side the paddy is being harvested and on the other hand that paddy is being threshed. Paddy is being threshed and dried on the road. Coarse Aman paddy is being sold at Tk 950 to Tk 1000 depending on the market. And medium quality gold rice is being sold for 1 thousand 50 taka. And thin variety of paddy pajam is being sold at Tk 1220. Coarse golden paddy is being sold at Tk 1100. Farmers say, this time due to lack of rain, aman has been produced through irrigation, fertilizer and diesel have to be bought at higher prices. Farmers are disappointed with the price of paddy at the beginning of the season. This year, the government has given an incentive of Tk 33 crore 20 lakh to increase the cultivation and production of Aman. 4 lakh 90 thousand small and marginal farmers of the country have received free seeds and fertilizers under this incentive. Still, many farmers do not cover the cost of production by selling Aman rice.
In Dinajpur, harvesting and threshing of early varieties of paddy has started, but there is no smile on the face of the farmer. Last season, a 75 kg sack of 90 paddy without early varieties was sold at Tk 4,200 to Tk 4,300. Now that paddy is selling for 2500 to 2800 taka. On the other hand, Bina 17, Bina 75, BR 51 rice bags of 75 kg are being sold for Tk 2150 to Tk 2250. Which was sold last year for 300 to 3100 rupees. Atahar Ali, a farmer of Kaharol upazila, said that there is no price for rice. There are no buyers in the market. This time, even if there is no loss in rice, there will be no profit. Sadar Upazila’s Mistripara village farmer Safiqul Islam said, ‘In the season, the price of 90 grains is high without early varieties, so we have cultivated that rice this time too. But wholesalers or mill owners are not telling the price of rice.’
In this regard, agriculturist Abdur Rahman Fazlu said that recently Food Minister Sadhan Chandra Majumdar has announced to set a target of procurement of 2 lakh tonnes of paddy from the domestic market at Tk 30 per kg during the Aman season. As a result, the price of paddy per maund stands at 1200 taka. This collection will start from mid week of November. As the government has not started buying rice, the price of rice has fallen to the bottom. Traders and wholesalers are buying and storing paddy at low prices. When farmers finish selling their paddy. Then the officials of the government food warehouse buy paddy from the foriyas at a higher price.
Farmer Abu Sama of Sreepur village of Durgapur in Netrokona said, ‘Aman paddy cultivation is completely dependent on rain. But this season there was not a single drop of rain. Aman paddy is grown with diesel powered irrigation pumps. Apart from this, the cost of production has increased due to increase in the price of fertilizers and diesel. All the things in the market are more expensive. If you buy rice, you cannot buy fish. This time also the price of paddy is low. Usually, paddy is sold to buy new sarees, winter clothes, hilsa fish, children’s toys and colorful clothes for the farmers. But I am worried about selling paddy at a loss and repaying the loan.’
Rafiq Mia, a farmer of Sherpur’s Nalitabari area, said, ‘After cultivating paddy with irrigation, now he is forced to sell it at a loss. Son’s school fees should be paid by selling paddy. Everything is expensive in the market. Due to the blockade, there are no buyers of paddy apart from the market. To sell rice in the market by trolley, the trolley fare has increased than before. We are at a loss on all fronts.’
The paved roads of the village have become the farmer’s paddy drying and threshing yard. Paddy is being threshed and dried on the road. Harvesting of early Aman paddy is going on all over the country. Farmers are working with enthusiasm and enthusiasm. This time the fair price of advance paddy is not available in the market. Last year the paddy was sold for 1300 taka. Now it is being sold for 1200 taka. Farmers say that paddy harvesting will start in full swing across the country from mid-November. Farmers fear that the price of paddy will fall further if the paddy harvesting starts in full swing. So many people are selling semi-ripe paddy quickly.
According to the Department of Agricultural Extension, the target for Aman abad this year is 59 lakh hectares. And the production target has been set at 1 crore 63 lakh tons of rice. In 2021-22, 1 crore 5 million tonnes of rice was produced and in 2020-21, 1 crore 45 lakh tonnes were produced. About 40 percent of the rice produced in the country comes from Aman. The remaining 60 percent is met by Aush and Boro.