Farmers in southern Bangladesh hit hardest by the cyclone
Cyclone Mahasen has damaged crops worth Tk 275 crore, hurting hundreds of farmers in the southern districts.
Aus seedlings, sesame (til) seeds, green chilli, mung beans, peanuts, vegetables, sunflower and various other crops were damaged as fields were submerged by heavy rains and water logging, farmers and officials of Department of Agricultural Extension said.
The cyclone destroyed crops on 32,633 hectares of land out of 153,444 hectares of the affected areas, Md Nazmul Karim, deputy director of DAE Barisal, told The Daily Star, citing estimates on 11 districts.
“Farmers who grew sesame seeds, mung beans and peanuts are the worst losers. They cannot cultivate these crops again now as the season is set to end,” Karim said.
Farmers and the DAE officials said sesame seeds, mung beans, peanuts, sunflower and various vegetables were on the mature stages, almost ready for harvest.
The cyclone ravaged the Southern coastal belt on May 16 morning, killing 17 people and damaging crops, fish farms, houses and educational institutions.
The Patuakhali, Barguna and Bhola districts were the worst hit, with farmers bearing the brunt, Karim added.
A trail of devastation was seen during a post-cyclone visit to some remote areas of Patuakhali and Barguna; croplands resembled lakes. Heavy rainfall and damage to the flood control embankments inundated these summer crops.
Mohammad Abbas, a resident of Mistripara of Kalapara in Patuakhali, said his green chilli and pumpkin fields were damaged by inundation.
“All my investments were washed away. Nothing can be recovered,” said Abbas who grows crops by leasing other people’s lands. The cyclone destroyed his home as well.
Farmers said robi crops such as mung beans, chilli and vegetables cannot sustain submerged conditions.
Seedlings of aus rice can be recovered if the water recedes, said Abul Hossain, a farmer at Gulishakhali of Amtali in Barguna. He grew mung beans, chilli, sunflower and pumpkin for summer yield.
“All his crops are under water and nothing except aus can be recovered,” he said, adding that the water is receding but the fields are still inundated amid continuous rainfall.
“Water is filling up faster than it is receding via the sluice gates,” Hossain said.
“Mung still remains in the field. So investment in the crop is a total loss,” he added. Hossain had cultivated crops on 1.5 acres of land at an investment of Tk 35,000.
Source: The Daily Star