Innovative way to tackle sapling crisis | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, December 12, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:06 AM, December 12, 2018

Innovative way to tackle sapling crisis

Paddy farmers in low lying areas of Pirojpur make seedbeds on raised fields to meet their requirement

Geographically most areas under Dewlbari-Dobra, Kalardoaniya and Malikhali unions in Nazirpur upazila remain waterlogged and covered with different water plants including water hyacinth all the year round. 

As a result, it is quite impossible for the farmers in those areas to cultivate Aman, which is the main season for paddy in the southern parts of the country.

However, as the water level started decreasing with the arrival of winter, it created an opportunity for the local farmers to grow Boro paddy in the marshlands.

But, growing paddy sapling is a bigger challenge for local growers.

Usually farmers across the country grow paddy saplings on plain land and without any serious difficulty, but it is too difficult here as there is hardly any suitable land available, local farmers said.

“Usually we grow paddy saplings on a high bed, locally known as kandi,” farmer Sudhir Ranjan Bepary of Beel Dumuria village said, adding that it is difficult to find such land in the areas as most of the farmers grow Robi crops there.

“Sometimes, we have to grow the saplings on plain land in distant villages and then carry those to our cropland,” Ali Hossain of the village said.

“It's not that easy to grow paddy in marshlands as the areas remain covered with thick water plants,” farmer Anukul Mondal of Pakuria village said, adding that paddy growers have to face serious difficulties, especially arranging the saplings.

“Most of the farmers in our locality mainly depend on Robi crops and if embankments are built here production of paddy and Robi crops will surely increase,” said Samiran Halder, a member of Dewlbari-Dobra Union Parishad (UP).

“Growers in Dewlbari-Dobra union can only grow paddy during the Boro season when the water level starts decreasing,” Union Sub-Assistant Agriculture Officer Premananda Halder said.

Dewlbari-Dobra UP Chairman Mohammad Waliullah said although Bangladesh Agriculture Development Corporation (BADC) constructed an embankment in his union, more embankments are needed for agricultural development.

“Alongside growing paddy sapling, life is very challenging in the marshlands as the entire communication system depends on waterways there,” Nazirpur Upazila Agriculture Officer Digbijoy Hazra said.

His department has a target to bring around 13,000 hectares of land in the upazila under Boro cultivation this year, which was 10,000 hectares the previous year, he added. 

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