Relentless rains spark fear of poor onion harvest in Faridpur

Farmers worry 70 percent of the onions submerged in the rainwater could go to waste

Published : 8 Dec 2023, 02:58 PM
Updated : 8 Dec 2023, 02:58 PM

The impact of cyclone Michuang has deepened the woes of farmers in Faridpur as they stare at mud-choked onion fields after three days of incessant rainfall.

Farmers say continuous drizzles in Saltha and Nagarkanda Upazilas accumulated a lot of rainwater in the onion plantations, putting 70 percent of the crops at risk of getting ruined before the brisk winter breeze hits Bangladesh.

Ahad Hossain, a farmer from Nagarkanda, said: "Three days of relentless rain caused extensive damage to the onions. I am currently planting seedlings in the mud. It will incur a huge loss for the onions that are rotting."

Farmer Farhad Sheikh said, "I gathered onion seeds taking a loan from an NGO. Three days of rain drowned all the seeds I planted. What do I do now? I don't know how to repay the money to the NGO."

Nagarkanda Upazila Agriculture Officer Tilak Kumar Ghosh said continuous rains have damaged about 350 hectares of ‘Murikata onion’ and 40 hectares of ‘Hali onion’ fields.

In such situations, farmers are advised to drain the water from the land, he said.

He was optimistic that it would be possible to cultivate onions on 8000 hectares of land in Nagarkanda this year.

Saltha Upazila Agriculture Officer Sudarshan Shikdar said Murikata onions were cultivated across 120 hectares of land in Saltha, while seedbeds being farmed on 760 hectares of land.

However, most of these crops have gone under the pooled rainwater.

"Farmers have been advised to drain the field water quickly. But if the rain continues, the onions will be damaged," said Shikdar.