Aman culture brings joy to the farmers of haor
The Haor areas of Sylhet Division usually remain inundated for most of the year, but there is some upland land where Boro rice can be grown.
In this year’s monsoon, thanks to the low rainfall, many areas were spared from flooding, allowing the cultivation of Aman paddy.
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According to the Agricultural Extension Department (DAE), a record amount of Aman paddy is being grown by haor farmers in Sylhet this season.
During a visit to different areas of the division, this correspondent found that most of the farmers were busy sowing the crop.
Amar Talukder, weather assistant at the Sylhet weather office, said the total rainfall recorded in July was 647.9 millimeters (mm).
However, 968.5mm of precipitation was recorded in July last year, he added.
DAE officials said the department has set a goal of bringing about four lakh hectares of land in Sylhet under Aman rice cultivation this year, of which 52 percent has already been achieved.
Taking advantage of favorable climatic conditions, farmers cultivated Aman on 750 hectares of haor land in Kawadighi and Hakaluki haors, said Kazi Lutful Bari, deputy director of the DAE office in Moulvibazar.
Abdul Momin, agriculture manager for Kulaura upazila, said Aman’s paddy was a kind of savings deposit for farmers.
In the midst of the high temperatures in April, farmers in Sylhet did not switch to growing Aus paddy.
“But due to the currently favorable weather conditions, farmers are now busy planting Aman rice using traditional methods,” Momin said.
Aman paddy has been grown on around 500 hectares of land in Moulvibazar sadar upazila, Rajnagar upazila and Panchgaon Munshi Bazar Union this season, according to DAE data.
In addition, about 100 hectares of land in Hail haor and Barahaor areas of sadar upazila, 100 hectares in Barlekha upazila and 50 hectares in Juri upazila have been cultivated in aman.
Thus, Aman paddy has been planted on a total of 750 hectares of land this season.
Milad Hossain, a farmer from the Mirpur area in Moulvibazar sadar upazila, told the Daily Star that farmers like him are totally dependent on paddy production.
“Therefore, due to the low rainfall in July… we planted four to five varieties of Aman paddy in the Boro growing area,” he said.
“I planted Brie 7, 85, 95 rice and Bina 18 rice.
We are continuing planting work with local workers during containment, ”Hossain added.
Samsu Mia, a farmer from the Shewaijuri area, said times have changed as the area was once inundated with water.
“But since there is less water around Kawadighi this year, I had the courage to start cultivating Aman’s paddy,” he added.
Babar Jaigidar, a farmer from Majlishpur, said the work of planting seedlings of rice was on time as the weather was favorable and the rains fell in due course. So far he has planted Aman rice on 20 bighas of land.
Regarding Boro, the exceptional paddy yields as well as the higher prices resulted in increased profits.
“So, we have cultivated Aman on 6 more bighas of land in the current season compared to last year,” he added. Jaigidar hopes that if the price of Aman paddy, like Boro paddy, was high, he would benefit.
Lechu Mia, a farmer from Sarampur village in Rajnagar upazila, said planting four or five varieties of paddy means that if one yields less, the other can make up for it.
Muhibur Rahman, a farmer from Rasulpur village in Rajnagar upazila, said that for the past 15 years, he had not been able to grow rice on 15 bighas of land in Kawadighi due to l ‘congestion.
He is happy this year because the water has receded and he now hopes to harvest a substantial amount of Aman.
In this regard, DAE Deputy Director Bari said that some 720 hectares of land have been planted with rice so far.
“We always encourage farmers to plant high-yielding varieties of rice. Most of the high yielding varieties were planted in haors, where they had never been grown before. There was only Boro rice, ”Bari said.
“This time however, the Aman rice plantation has doubled compared to last year,” he added.
Dilip Kumar Adhikari, deputy director of DAE in Sylhet, inspected the Aman plantation in sadar upazila. He said the farmland is shrinking day by day with the increase in population.
“Therefore, in order to meet the food needs of a growing population, paddy plantations and production must be increased. In this case, the Aman culture gives hope in the haor areas, ”he added.