Aman Paddy, 2022 Farmers Horrified for lack of RainUBINIG || Wednesday 28 September 2022 ||
There was 68% less rain than normal this year in the rainy season (July-August), mentioned Mohammad Abdul Mannan, Meteorologist, Bangladesh Meteorological Department.
Worst Drought and Heat Wave in the Rainy Season this Year (2022) in Bangladesh which is the Worst Scenario in the Last 41 Years:
The rainfall recorded in July this year (2022), was least rainfall during this season in the last 41 years, mentioned Mohammad Abdul Mannan, Meteorologist Bangladesh Meteorological Department. There was less than 50% of rainfall in this time this year; normally it is the peak period of rainfall. Least rainfall in 41 years from 1980-2022 and unusual drought was recorded this year. Extreme hot weather prevailed this year, the highest record in last 30 years. There was only 211 mm rainfall in July; normally it is the peak month of rainfall. The average rainfall for this time is 496 mm. This year it was 285 mm less rainfall than the average rainfall for this time. This year drought prevailed in most of the divisions of Bangladesh in the rainy season (July-August). There was less rain than normal with 60.5% less in Dhaka division, 67.8% less in Chittagong division, 64.6% less in Khulna division, 64.7% less in Barisal division, 61.8% less in Rajshahi division and 52.4% less in Mymenshing division. In the rainy season (July-August), high temperature prevailed in the rainy season all over the country. We are going to face exceptional weather pattern, Mohammad Abdul Mannan further mentioned.
Bangladesh: A Victim of Drought and Flood
According to the Bangladesh Meteorological Department and the Department of Agricultural Extension, Bangladesh has become a victim of flood in one side and a victim of drought on the other side during June-July, 2022. Consequently agricultural production is now under threat. In July this year, rainfall has been 68% less than normal in the country. However, in June, 56-68% higher than normal rainfall occurred in three divisions in eastern region (Sylhet, Mymenshing and Rangpur (Kurigram and Gaibandha). Consequently there was flood. There was 30-48% less rainfall than normal in other regions of Bangladesh. Accordingly there was drought in those areas.
Aus paddy and Jute production were constrained. The seed beds of aman paddy were dried up. Normally 45% of paddy and 40% of vegetables are produced in the kharif season in Bangladesh. These crops have been badly affected this year. Consequently, food security has fallen victim to threat. Heavy floods have severely affected aman paddy crops in half of their suitable lands in 11 districts in the entire Sylhet and parts of Mymenshing and Rangpur divisions (The Financial Express, July 27, 2022). Aman paddy is a rainfed crop. However, for lack of rain, the farmers in Rajshahi, Khulna, Barisal, Dhaka and Rangpur divisions had grown aman paddy with irrigation. The farmers had to spend extra amount of BDT 6000-8000 per hectare for irrigation. This is due to low rainfall in June-July, 2022.
Under these adverse weather conditions 43 farmers in 17 villages in three districts like Pabna, Natore and Tangail districts were contracted over mobile phone to know the conditions of aman paddy seedbeds and the standing condition of broadcast aman paddy. Conversations were held with five farmers in three villages, 12 farmers in three villages in Natore districts and 26 farmers in 11 villages in Tangail districts. They discussed the condition of transplanting aman paddy seedbed and standing broadcast aman paddy in the field.
We had sown the aman paddy seed in the seedbed in the beginning of the rainy season, mentioned Nayakrishi farmers Shahidul Islam, Rashida Begum, Rijia Begum, Abdul Mazid and Ziaul Huq, Tanboyra, Parashidha and Hatigara village, Atghoria upazilla, district, Pabna. There was enough moisture in the soil and the seeds germinated normally. The seedbed condition appeared good. Unfortunately, there was no rain but intense heat due to clear sunlight continuous heat prevailed, day and night. After a few days, all the seedlings died and dried. Paddy transplanting could not be done for lack of seedlings.
However, there was rain in small amount at about the end of Srabon (mid-August). Then again we set seedbed on the bank of canals, sown aman paddy seeds with irrigation. These seedlings of Pakri variety of aman paddy were transplanted in the field on 10th of Bhadra (end August). We also purchased seedling worth of BDT 2000 and transplanted in the field. We transplanted the seedling with irrigation from the canal. We spent BDT 3000 as labour cost for manual irrigation. In the meantime there has been rain recently. Now the crop condition appears good. The other farmers could not grow aman paddy for lack of rain. We are lucky to have water in the canal and transplanted aman paddy with irrigation.
At the same time the farmers growing the modern varieties of rice faced the same problem. The modern farmers had grown BRRI dhan-71, BRRI dhan-75, BRRI dhan-39, BRRI dhan-87 Bina dhan-7 on seedbed. But there was no rain in the rainy season. The seedbed was damaged due to drought. Consequently aman paddy transplanting could not be done in the season for lack of rain. Generally, the aman paddy seedlings of 25-30 days old are transplanted in the main land. Unfortunately, one and a half month passed but the transplanting could not be done (https://www.pabnareport24.com/). Farmers of Pabna are facing problem for growing transplanted aman paddy.
At last the farmers have transplanted aman paddy with irrigation. Most of the farmers had grown paddy with irrigation. The farmers in Ishwardi faced great difficulty in aman paddy production for high cost of fuel, fertilizer, plough and labour.
Ansar Ali, a farmer, Muladuli, Ishwardi used to plough the land of the other farmers with tractor in addition to cultivation of his own land. This year he faced great difficulties due to sudden rise of price of fuel. Status of our activities for cultivation of crops is not at all good this year for lack of rain. In addition, the price of fuel has increased recently BDT 34 per liter. I had made agreement with the farmers to plough their land at BDT 4000 per acre in the beginning of the season. Now it is difficult for me to plough the land as per the previous agreement for the abrupt rise of price of fuel. I have no alternative but to run away from the locality leaving land cultivation (https://www.alokitobangladesh.com/country-news/133580/). The cost of production of aman paddy has increased beyond limit.
We have done our best to grow aman paddy, we had sown rice seed in seedbed, but rice seedlings were dried up for lack of rain, inspite of our best effort, we could not grow aman paddy for lack of rain, mentioned Nayakrishi farmers Hasina Begum, Shukchan, Rina Begum and Shukur Ali, village, Krishnapur, upazilla, Boraigram, district, Natore.
However, we did not lose heart and availed the next rain and raised seedlings in seedbed. We transplanted Kartikshail, Dhaldigha, Pakri and Vorilota on 15th Bhadra (end August) with irrigation from shallow tube well. We did not have any other alternative. In the beginning, the transplanted crop was not doing well. There has been some rain for last three days and the plants are taking up.
I had sown Dhaldigha variety of aman rice seed by broadcasting in low land, mentioned farmer Hasina Begum, the seeds germinated but did not have normal growth for lack of rain. However, it has been raining for last three days. The plants are appearing good. Many farmers could not transplant rice for want of seedlings.
Nayakrishi farmers, Suraton Begum, Jobeda Begum, Shurja Begum, Asia khatun, Modhu Mia, Rubel Hosain, Mahatab uddin and Torab Ali of Dashgram and Rajendrapur villages mentioned that not only the Nayakrishi farmers but also all other farmers could not transplant aman paddy from the seed bed to the main field for lack of rain. The seedling dried and died in the seedbed. The farmers had grown aman paddy seedling in seedbed for the second time. The farmers are now transplanting seedling with irrigation. In the meantime, some of the farmers have completed transplanting of aman paddy seedlings. This year, there is no alternative but to transplant aman paddy seedlings in the field with irrigation. Those farmers who had aman paddy in the low lands could save their crop by irrigation using local technology. However, now it has been raining for last 3-4 days. The paddy plants are appearing green and attractive.
I had sown seeds of Hidi and Pakri variety aman paddy by broadcasting as relay intercrop in the standing jute field in (mid-June-end July) on three bigha (1 bigha=33 decimals) of land, mentioned farmers Suraton Begum. Jute was harvested in mid Srabon (end July). Paddy crop condition was not so good for sometimes due to drought for lack of rain. Recently it has been raining for last 3-4 days. Paddy plants are becoming green with rain and moisture in the soil.
Aman paddy varieties grown every year include: hidi, dholdigha, kalapat, vorilota, ajaldigha, kartikshail and pakri. This year, two varieties, among those hidi and pakri were grown with irrigation by transplanting. These two varieties are grown on relatively high land. They can grow with less water. The seeds of the other aman paddy varieties were sown broadcast on low lands in Baishakh (mid- April—mid-May). There is no arrangement for irrigation in the low land. The farmers were waiting for rain. There was continuous drought in the normal rainy season. The low lands were dried up. The rice plants became weak due to drought. Rice plants started growing after there was rain in Srabon (mid- July—mid-August). However, most of the medium low lands in the field are lying fallow. Paddy in the low lands are regaining growth after it has been raining recently. The farmers are expecting rain for a better harvest.
Drought continued for lack of rain in the normal rainy season. Under these circumstances not only the Nayakrishi farmers but also all other farmers became busy for transplanting aman paddy seedling in the field in the rainy season in Ashar-Srabon (mid- June—mid-August). This year the farmers could not make seed bed for lack of rain. Some of the farmers had made seed bed with irrigation but those were also damaged due to drought. The farmers are now frustrated and are not doing intercultural operations in the rice field.
We have grown aman paddy on six bigha land, mentioned Abu Raihan, Mamudpur village of sadar union. But there is no rain for one and a half month. Most of the land has been dried up. We may not be able to harvest 10 kg paddy from the entire field. The modern farmers had grown BRRI dhan-71, BRRI dhan-75, BRRI dhan-39, BRRI dhan-49 and BRRI dhan-87 on seed bed but these are affected due to drought (https://www.jugantor.com/todays-paper/bangla-face/).
Most of the farmers in the village had grown aman paddy seedling in the seedbed but the seedlings dried due to drought, mentioned Nayakrishi farmers, Osman Gani, village Mushuria and Tariqual Islam of Lauhati village, district Tangail. The farmers are now transplanting aman paddy seedling in the field. These seedlings were raised by second sowing seed in seedbed with irrigation. The land of those farmers is still laying fallow those who are unable to manage irrigation for want of money. They are now planning for growing early Rabi crops.
Nayakrishi farmer Osman Gani shared that he had grown the Digha variety of rice with jute in mixed culture in Baishakh (mid April). Jute was harvested in mid Ashar (July). Digha variety of rice is there in the field now. There has been a long period of drought from Ashar-Bhadra (mid June-mid September). It has been raining for last two days. The paddy plants are now looking good.
Aman paddy seedling grown in the seed bed were dried and died due to long period of drought for lack of rain, mentioned Nayakrishi farmers, Abdul Alim, Julekha Begum, and Sharmin Akter of Nanduria village, Tangail district. The farmers in Nanduria village are not thinking at all for growing aman paddy this season. The land of all the farmers in the village is now lying fallow. The farmers further mentioned that most of the soil in Nanduria village is sandy and thus the water holding capacity of soil is very low. Evenly distributed normal rainfall in the rainy season is good for aman paddy cultivation in this light soil. This year the farmers have become frustrated due to long period of drought in the rainy season.
The farmers of Nanduria village are now planning for growing rabi crops including mustard, pulses, potato and vegetables.
We have sown the seeds of the local varieties of aman paddy like patjak, vaolia digha and sada digha by broadcasting in Chaitra-Baishakh (mid-March—mid May), mentioned Nayakrishi farmers, Latif Mia, Liakot Ali, and Arfan Ali of Garashin viallage and Salima Begum, Hasina khatun and Mohammad Nuruzzaman of Gaziabari village. The crop condition appears quite good now. They further mentioned shared that these paddy fields are on low land. Moreover, they have irrigated the fields taking water from the nearby canals. Now it is raining. The paddy plants are growing well.
On the other hand, the seed beds of transplanting aman paddy were dried up and the seedlings died due to continuous drought for lack of rain. Some farmers in the village are growing aman paddy with irrigation. The cost of irrigation availing deep tube well is very high and it is beyond the reach of many farmers. Some farmers are growing brinjal, chili, okra and amaranth with manual irrigation using surface water. Most of the farmers are planning for rabi crop productions.
We have never experienced such drought before, mentioned Azharul Islam, Shadat Hosain, Suriya Begum of Babupur village and Shanaj Begum, Zahanara Khatun and Humayun of Chinakhota village, Tangail district. We used to grow aman paddy in the rainy season. This year it was not possible to grow paddy by any farmer. This happened due to lack of rain and drought. Some farmers grow aman paddy with irrigation from deep tube well. However, the cost of irrigation has become so high that it is not within the reach of many farmers. We have grown brinjal, chili, okra, and stem amaranth with manual irrigation. We are also preparing for rabi crop production.
Extreme drought prevailed this year, mentioned Ruposhi Begum of Moushakathalia village, Mohammad Arju Mia and Salima Khatun of Jangalia, Nurjhan Begum, Banes Uddin and Rina Begum of Mamudpur and Aminur Rahman of Hinganagar village. Previously it would rain any time in rainy season just at the appearance of cloud but it was extreme drought in the month of Ashar (mid-June—mid July), the month of heavy rain in normal years. Last year this time there was flood, the entire area was water logged and covered with water hyacinth, mentioned Nayakrishi farmer, Ruposhi Begum. This year the farmers could not transplant aman rice for want of required water due to drought. Aman paddy seedlings were dried and died for lack of moisture in the soil due to drought.
I had sown the seeds of broadcast variety of local aman rice varieties like Chamara, Digha and Lal Bawalia on low land in Baishakh (mid-April—mid- May), sometimes irrigated the field using water from canals, mentioned Ruposhi Begum. It is worth mentioning in this context that these are deep water rice varieties. Fortunately it has been raining for last few days. Now the plants are growing better. Those farmers who could not transplant aman paddy for lack of water are now busy for transplanting the seedlings of Patjak, Sada Dhepa, and other high-yielding rice varieties.
We have been passing through hard time, mentioned Arju Mia, of Attia village and Salima Khatun of Jangalia village. Aman paddy is our main crop which could not be grown this year for drought due to lack of rain, they further mentioned. Like other farmers we are transplanting Patjak variety of paddy with irrigation through deep tube well. The cost of irrigation this year is BDT 4000 per bigha (33 decimals). This is too much for us but we have to survive first. Side by side efforts are in progress for growing the Rabi crops like pulses, mustard and vegetables.
Mamudpur is a low lying area, mentioned Nurjhan Begum, Banes Uddin and Rina Begum of Mamudpur village. The farmers in this village had sown the seeds of Chamara, Laldhepa, Sada Dhepa and Jhul Dhan in Baishak (mid-April—mid May) by broadcasting. The seeds germinated normally but badly affected due to drought for lack of rain in June-July. The field was manually irrigated using water from canals. It has been raining for last 3-4days. The plants are now becoming green. Some farmers are now transplanting high yielding rice varieties with irrigation using shallow machine.
‘I did never see so much of high temperature and drought before’, mentioned Aminur Rahman of Hinganagar village. Every year we grow aman paddy in the rainy season, he further mentioned. The condition this year is such that the aman paddy seedlings dried and died in the seedbeds due to drought for lack of rain. Most of our land is within the command area of deep tubewell. The deep tube wells remain closed in the rainy season. The deep tubewell is operated only in the Rabi season for Boro rice production. There was extreme drought in the aman rice season. The need for irrigation was felt strongly for production of Aman rice as because of drought for lack of rain in Ashar-Srabon (mid-June-mid August). Inspite of desperate need of irrigation the deep tube well could not be run for high cost of diesel. The farmers were unable to manage the high cost of diesel. Having no other alternative the farmers finally agreed to pay the high cost of diesel and used irrigation for Aman paddy production. I also availed the opportunity and grew Chamara and Patjack variety of aman paddy with irrigation. In addition it has been raining last 3-4 days. The plants are taking good growth. It is expected that the crop will grow well if it rains like this.
Finally we have transplanted aman paddy seedling undergoing so much of physical hardship and financial constraint. We have no peace of mind before harvest because many things may happen in between. The fact is that Tangail is naturally low laying area, except this year there has been flood every year. Still there is risk of flood this year also.
The modern farmers in Tangail are unable to transplant aman paddy in Ashar (mid-June-mid July), the peak rainy season but there is no rain. In addition, the price of fertilizer and diesel has increased recently. They are now helpless. The farmers in 12 upazilas of Tangail district are now worried with cultivation of transplanted aman paddy due to increased cost of production. The farmers in Lauhati, Pathrail, Elashin, Gorashin, Gazaiabari and Dubail area of Delduar upazila are unable to cultivate transplanted aman paddy for lack of rain. On the other side the farmers have to prepare land with irrigation for lack of rain. There the anxiety of farmers has increased further due to load shedding of electricity and increased price of diesel. The cost of irrigation in transplanted Aman paddy production is an additional burden for the farmers. Under these circumstances, many farmers mentioned that they may have to give up cultivation as profession if the price of paddy does not increase as per the cost of production.
Summary of Report
The following points briefly came out from consultation with farmers:
- This year, 2022 aman paddy seedlings in seedbeds were dried and died due to drought and extreme heat of sun light.
- The farmers who cultivated local varieties of aman paddy by broadcasting seed in Baishakh (mid April-mid May), cared to maintain the crop in the face of adverse weather condition, are expecting to harvest aman paddy.
- In the interest of maintaining life and livelihood, many transplanted aman paddy farmers were compelled to take water for irrigation from deep tube well.
- The land of those Nayakrishi farmers and other farmers remained fallow in the aman paddy season who could not afford to bear the cost of water for irrigation through deep tube well.
- Many farmers had grown vegetables in the land near the homestead area with irrigation from hand tube wells at home as an alternative who were unable to grow aman paddy due to drought for lack of rain.
- At present there is scarcity of seed of local variety of aman paddy in the villages. There is acute shortage of aman paddy seed especially among those farmers who grow high yielding varieties (HYVs), hybrids and do not care to take note of climate change variations.