The flood has caused crop losses amounting to about Tk 1,152 crore of tens of thousands farmers, mainly in the northern region, according to an estimate of the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE).
The inundation damaged crops on 1.09 lakh hectares affecting more than 6.51 lakh farmers in 31 districts, said officials.
Vegetable growers suffered the biggest losses from the flood that began early last month resulting from heavy rains, followed by jute and aus paddy producers.
The DAE estimates that the inundation destroyed summer vegetables on 9,841 hectares area and almost mature aus paddy on 25,851 hectares.
Farmers had planted aus on 11.49 lakh hectares this year, which is less than the targeted area.
Overall yield of the summer crop is likely to be 22 lakh tonnes because of decreased acreage for growers’ switch to jute, maize and vegetable for higher returns to recover the lower return from winter crop boro and crop damage for flood, said the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) in its July issue of Grain and Feed Update on Bangladesh.
The USDA said the monsoon season in Bangladesh officially started on June 17 and heavy rains began on July 9 across the country, including the upstream neighbour of Nepal and the two Indian states of Assam and Meghalaya.
“The massive rains triggered widespread flooding and landslides and affected the livelihood of 6 million people,” it said, adding that aus rice, transplanted aman rice seedbeds, jute, vegetables, sugarcane, banana and chili were the most damaged crops.
Bangladesh is the seventh most vulnerable country with regard to the adverse effects of climate change, said the US agency.
The USDA lowered its forecast on Bangladesh’s rice output for the 2019-20 season — which runs from May to April — to 3.52 crore tonnes from 3.53 crore tonnes.
Apart from aus paddy, farmers had to count losses of sown aman on 29,635 hectares and seedlings of transplanted aman 11,875 hectares.
Aman is the second rice crop after boro and seedlings production of the autumn crop has been on along with transplantation.
To help farmers get seedlings, the DAE has taken an initiative to produce seedlings on 75 acres of government-owned land and 530 acres of farmer-owned lands by providing them with production cost, said Md Abdul Muyeed, director of the DAE’s field services wing.
It is also helping growers to make 2,500 floating seedbeds of aman so that they can transplant, he added.
Besides food producers, many growers, who cultivated the cash crop jute this year, incurred losses due to flood.
Jute on 22,039 hectares area was damaged, according to the DAE.
The DAE has taken a Tk 80 crore scheme to encourage cultivation of mustard, maize and wheat in the coming winter, Muyeed said.
“Priority will be given to the flood-affected regions,” he added.
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