That heat shock or heat injury has adversely affected standing paddy on 28,123 hectares of cropland in 36 districts, completely destroying the crop on 10,298 hectares is alarming news. It is concerning on two counts: first, this will result in 0.10 million tonne less than the target boro production; and second, this augurs ill for the country's agriculture in the future.
Rajshahi mango growers fear losses this year as the buds of their fruits have been severely damaged in a recent hailstorm. The storm went through Rajshahi city and the surrounding area between 2:30pm and 3:30pm on Sunday. Although no casualties were reported, it caused severe damage to crops in rural areas and caused many mango buds to fall from trees. It also caused severe dust storms in the city.
Last year, Hafizur Rahman's entire rice crop drowned in floodwaters that followed heavy rain in northern Bangladesh. The loss forced the 30-year-old farmer from Kurigram district to look for daily labouring work, hoping to scrape together enough money for seed to plant a new 8-acre (3-hectare) rice crop this year.
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.
Scientists call for actions to save future crop losses as floods these days are submerging more land than before. The frequency of floods with higher magnitude have increased in Bangladesh at an alarming level, sending alerts to scientists who are now asking for immediate government interventions to save future crop damage.
As the cold spell lingers on, farmers are in fear of incurring losses because their crops might be affected by the bitter cold. Now, they are applying different tactics to protect their crops, specially Boro seedlings and potato. "I keep my entire seedbeds covered with clothes or polythene at night and uncover these when the sun is visible," said Animesh Barman, a farmer of Chutbathina village in Thakurgoan Sadar upazila.
In a shift from the usual weather pattern, Bangladesh has witnessed around 50 percent more rainfall in the first nine months of 2020, compared to the average rainfall in the corresponding period during the last 30 years. According to the Bangladesh Meteorological Department (BMD), an average 363.621 millimetres of rainfall was recorded in the country between January and September.
In Bangladesh, this year's floods have caused a total loss of Tk 1,4 billion (€14 mln) to some 107,400 farmers in Tangail. In Gopalganj, Dr Arbindu Kumar Roy, deputy director of the Department of Agricultural Extension, said river water levels in Gopalganj never crossed the danger mark, but there was still a lot of flooding.
Floods have already damaged crops worth nearly Tk 350 crore and are going to pile up further losses on tens of thousands of farmers, according to an official estimate. Growers of aus and aman rice crops, jute and summer vegetables in 14 districts suffered the biggest losses as the floods submerged nearly 42,000 hectares of the cropland.
In the north-west of Bangladesh, Thakurgaon mango growers are deeply worried despite what seemed to be a great yield. This is because several hundred hectares of mango orchards are inundated as a result of heavy rains for the last several days. Around 500 hectares of mango orchards in the low lying areas of the district went under rainwaters due to torrential rain, making it difficult for growers to harvest mangoes.
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