The Financial Express

Fog threatens winter crops across Bangladesh

| Updated: December 13, 2020 10:39:53

Fog threatens winter crops across Bangladesh

Early arriving foggy weather has been affecting the winter crops, especially Boro seedbeds and potatoes, dashing farmers' hopes for the expected output.

The farmers in the northern, north-eastern, southern and the central parts are suffering a lot due to continuous fog and darkness, said sources.

The state-run Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) also cautioned farmers about preventing any crop loss, said officials.

The country's farmers are now busy taking care of their seedbeds to grow seedlings for transplanted Boro farming.

The prevailing fog has also been hurting potato, spice, oilseeds and a few vegetables, said farmers.

Sofiar Rahman, a farmer at Jaldhaka upazila in Nilphamari, said that his Boro seedbeds on 13 decimals of land have seriously been affected by the prolonged fog.

He said the immature seedlings have turned gray in the last few days.

He said the whole seedbed might die if such weather prevails for more days.

"The production cost will rise by 10-12 per cent if I need to buy seedlings from other sources to transplant Boro on my six bighas of land", he said.

He said potato fields might also be affected like that of the last year in the aftermath of heavy fog and drizzling.

However, heavy fog in the early hours has severely been affecting wheat, potato, spice, pulses and oil seed fields in Rangpur, Dinajpur, Rajshahi, Dhaka, Sylhet, Jashore and Khulna regions.

The DAE director general Md Asadullah told the FE that preventive measures are being taken to tackle any kind of disruption.

He said the foggy weather has arrived much earlier, which is a concern for crops.

He said the extension workers and officials have been directed to provide farmers with all kinds of help.

He said the extension workers are going to farmers and telling them to use necessary shades over rice and wheat seedbeds and potato fields.

Farmers will need 0.46 million hectares of seedbeds this year to grow seedlings for the major crop Boro, he said, adding the target has been fixed to produce 20.03 million tonnes of rice on 4.9 million hectares of land in the season.

He said the potato production target is 113 million tonnes on 0.48 million hectares of land this season.

However, the country's weather condition may deteriorate further as one or two cold waves are about to sweep many regions in the next couple of days, said the Met Office in its monthly climate outlook.

The Met office, in its 24-hour forecast, said moderate to thick fog may blanket the country today (Sunday).

There are also chances of drizzling at one or two places over Rangpur and Rajshahi divisions during the time, according to the forecast

Mercury further declined on Saturday as the lowest temperature was recorded at 12.6 degrees Celsius in Chuadanga while it was 16.2 degrees Celsius in Dhaka until 6.30 pm on the day.

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