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Bangladesh - Farmers in North fear crop loss

Potato and Boro farmers in the northern region of the country are fearing a huge loss this season due to adverse weather.

The bone-chilling cold, coupled with fog, imposes the risk of affecting seedlings. Besides, the production costs is skyrocketing for additional measures taken to cope with the weather, they said.

Habib Mohammad Ahasanur Rahman, a farmer of Shingia village in Thakurgaon Sadar upazila, said, “Our production cost is skyrocketing as we have to use fungicide. Otherwise, the potato might be affected by blight disease.”

Shahidul Islam, another potato grower of Farabari village in the same upazila, said they had to use additional labourers to protect the potato from ongoing cold that has been prevailing for around one month.

Besides, farmers are facing difficulties working on croplands due to the bitter cold, said several people of the profession.

Contacted, Aftab Ahmed, deputy director of Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) in Thakurgaon, said farmers were already instructed to take extra measures to protect their crops.

In Kurigram and Lalmonirhat, cold is affecting Boro seedbeds, turning the saplings yellowish.

Atiar Rahman, a farmer of Kailashkutir village in Kurigram’s Rajarhat upazila, said cold and fog damaged two-week-old Boro seedlings on his 20 decimals of land.

“The young plants have turned yellowish due to lack of sunlight for several days,” he said.

Rafiqul Islam, a farmer at Teesta River basin in Lalmonirhat Sadar upazila, said if the cold and fog continued for several more days, they would face seedling crisis during this ongoing Boro transplantation season.

District agriculture officials urged farmers to cover their seedbeds by polythene at night to protect the seedlings to minimise loses.

Meanwhile, ferry services on two major routes were suspended for hours while vehicular movement was disrupted due to dense fog.

In Tangail, a 20-kilometre-long tailback was created on the eastern part of Bangabandhu Bridge as vehicular movement on the bridge was suspended for around three hours due to dense fog.

Traffic movement was suspended on the bridge between 6:00am and 9:00am due to poor visibility, said officials at Traffic Control Room (TCR) of the bridge.

The tailback lasted for around seven hours. Traffic movement started easing around 1:00pm, said Mohammad Kamal Hossain, in-charge of Elenga Highway Police Outpost.

On Paturia-Dauladia route, the ferry service was suspended for around six hours from early yesterday due to dense fog.

Patuaria is located in Manikganj, while Dauladia is located at Rajbari. The ferry route is considered as one of the major gateways to southern districts.

Zillur Rahman, deputy general manager of Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Corporation (BIWTC) at Aricha, said they suspended the ferry service as marking lights on the Padma became invisible.

Over 200 vehicles were stranded at Paturia terminal due to suspension of ferry operations, he informed.

Meanwhile, a weather bulletin of Bangladesh Meteorological Department (BDM) yesterday said, “Moderate to thick fog may occur at places over the country during midnight to morning.

“Light rain or drizzle is likely to occur at one or two places over Barishal and Chattogram divisions. Weather may remain mainly dry with temporary partly cloudy sky elsewhere over the country.”

The 24-hour bulletin was released at 9:00am yesterday.

“Night temperature may fall by one to three degree Celsius and day temperature may rise slightly over the country,” it said.

Yesterday’s lowest temperature was recorded 10.4 degree Celsius at Chuadanga.

Source –