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Labourer crisis hits boro harvest in Sylhet

boroSylhet farmers are now worried as they could not harvest Boro paddy due to acute crisis of farm labourers.

Traditionally, farm labourers harvest paddy in exchange of paddy, but this year they are not interested to harvest paddy because of lower price compared to previous years, said local sources.

Farmers while talking to the Journalist said generally labourers from nearby districts come to cut their paddy during harvesting period, but this year farm laboureer are not coming due to lower price of paddy.

Finding no way, many farmers along with their families are harvesting paddy.

Abdul Gofur, a farmer of Balagonj upazila, told that farm labourers generally take 15kg paddy from the farmers for harvesting 100kg paddy, but this year labourers are being offered 20kg for harvesting same quantity of paddy.

Though labourers are being offered better opportunities than last year, it is quite tough to get adequate labourers because of low price,” said Gofur.

Ali Hossain, a farmer of Osmani nogor upazila, said he had cultivated Boro paddy on about 11 bighas of land.

My paddy is still at field as I could not manage labourers to harvest the food grain.

Now, I am desperately looking for workers to cut my paddy and if I fail to get lavourers I would have to count a huge loss,” he said.

Labourers who came from Dirai said every year, a huge number of labourers come to Barind area to cut paddy, but this year they are not coming because they are earning more in other works than harvesting.

A Rahman, an agriculture officer of Dakshin Surma upazila, told that farmers were afraid that natural disasters such as storm might damage paddy any time, if it could not be harvested by due time.

The Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) this year had fixed the target of Boro paddy cultivation on 461518 hectares in Sylhet, but the paddy has been cultivated on 57,000 heactares of land. About 90% rip paddy is yet to be harvested, he said.

Kairul basher, deputy director of DAE Sylhet district, said told that for favorable atmosphere bumper production was expected this year and the hope of the farmers would be fulfilled if paddy could be taken into their home avoiding natural disaster.

Earlier, government had declared to procure paddy from the farmers at the rate of Tk22 per kilogram this year, but the farmers of the district who already harvested paddy in the last few days informed that they are selling paddy at the local wholesale markets at the rate of Tk14-15 per kilogram.