Prior to Boro harvesting season, around 52,000 hectares of lands were massively damaged in 16 districts by nor’wester and heat waves that swept over the country on 4th April (Sunday).
It is estimated that over 46,971 hectares of Boro paddy in both plain and haor areas in 7 districts are affected by the heat.
The Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) has primarily approximated that boro farmers incurred a Tk 8.7 crore losses. The loss will cut the production by 24,000 metric tonnes. DAE officials said that they were still working on the issue to finalize the assessment.
The affected districts are Kishoreganj, Netrokona, Jamalpur, Gaibandha, Brahmanbara, Cumilla, Naogoan, Kurigram, Narsingdi, Mymensingh, Noakhali, Sherpur, Sirajganj, Norail, Jhenaidah and Khulna.
Boro is the most popular crop in Bangladesh in production volume as the crop grows on 48 lakh hectares of land across the country. About 200 lakh tonnes of rice is produced from the paddy annually, said the officials.
Apart from boro paddy, the heat shock, to some extent, has also affected other standing crops including maize, groundnuts, vegetables, sunflower and banana.
Sher-e-Bangla Agricultural University’s Agronomy professor Dr Abdullahil Baque opined, “The final yield of the crop can be decreased by 45 per cent due to the heat shock.”
As the heatwave affected the standing boro crops which remained in the flowering stages, so it would cause a huge amount of “sterility”, he said.
“The loss will depend on the crop variety, tolerance ability, cultivation method, management system and temperature,” he further added.
The agronomist suggested that sufficient water (level of 2-3 inches) should be kept in the boro crop fields until rice grains become strong.
He also suggested farmers using MOP fertilizer and mixed medicines or fungicide on the boro fields to protect the crops from BLB or BLS and blast disease, which were yet to reach the flowering stage.