Kishoreganj haor farmers not getting fair price for paddy

Kishoreganj haor farmers not getting fair price for paddy

The paddy farmers of haor upazilas Austagram, Itna, Mithamoin, and Nikli of Kishoreganj district are not getting a fair price of paddy in Chamraghat, Bhairab, and Ashuganj wholesale markets in this Boro paddy harvesting season.

As a result, paddy farmers have been counting Tk 150-250 loss per maund of paddy which may push them into financial trouble.

Haor farmers have already faced two flash floods triggered by incessant downpours and onrush of water from upstream areas in India’s eastern zone. Farmers in the haor areas continue to harvest half-ripe paddy fearing more flash floods instructed by the administration, local lawmakers, and the Department of Agricultural Extension to cut further loss.

As farmers are harvesting half-ripe paddy, they did not get full yield. This is a huge loss for them. Moreover, there has been a huge crisis of labourers for which farmers are counting extra losses.

This time, the unfair price of paddy has turned the haor farmers unhappy. They are now lamenting and passing days thinking about how they will repay their loans from local lenders.

Boro farmers of haor areas have expressed agitation about the unfair paddy price. Visiting the Chamraghat rice market, the UNB correspondent found farmers from haor areas bringing paddy by boat. Rice mill owners buy paddy directly from farmers at this spot.

Farmers said they have been counting huge losses as they are not getting a fair price this year. Mill owners are buying maximum paddy at a low price produced in the haor areas.

The production cost per maund of coarse paddy, including the labour cost, is nearly Tk 900 while its selling price is only Tk 650 to Tk 750, while plain paddy is being sold at Tk 750 to Tk 850 against the production cost of nearly Tk 1000.

Karim Mia, a farmer of Dhanpur of Itna upazila, said he has expended more than Tk 1,000 to grow one maund of paddy. But he did not get a fair price in the local market which has forced him to sell paddies at lower prices counting huge losses.

Ujjal Saha, agriculture officer of Itna upazila said, “Most of the farmers of the haor areas are extremely poor. They have to sell paddy within Baishakh (first months of Bangla month) to pay the loans.”