Staff Correspondent: High price of Aman paddy has brought smile to the face of farmers in the advent of Aman harvesting season across the country.
Farmers are in a festive mood soon after the start of Nabanna Utsab (the festival of new harvest) as they are selling their newly harvested Aman paddy at Tk 900-1200 per mound (40 kgs), from Tk 700-800 per mound last year.
Aman harvesting started in the mid-October and will continue till December.
Farmers have been incurring huge losses and hardly made any profit in Aman seasons over the past few years. But they are making good profits as the price of Aman paddy has reached a record high this year, local sources and farmers said.
Aman, grown during the rainy season, is the second-highest cereal crop produced in Bangladesh after Boro. Country’s 35 per cent rice production comes from Aman while the rest 65 per cent comes from Boro and Aush.
Professor ASM Golam Hafiz, a renowned farm economist and head of the Agricultural Finance and Banking Department at Bangladesh Agricultural University, told that after incurring loss for many years, farmers are making profits this year.
“The demand for paddy has increased soon after the start of corona crisis due to a rise in rice intake in the country. On the other hand, flood and natural calamity damaged crops during this Aman season,” he said, adding that all those factors contributed to a rise in Aman price this year.
“It is a good sign that farmers are getting a good price after a long time,” said the economist.
Aman cultivation was affected by several weather setbacks, including excessive precipitation in March and April, followed by Tropical Cyclone Amphan in May and recurrent widespread and severe floods in July and August.
‘Nobanno Utshob’, a festival of harvesting new crops, is a joyful event in the life of Bengali people, especially in the life of the farmers who work hard to grow crops and wait for their harvest time with great hope in their hearts.
The celebration of this festival of bringing new crops home has been an inseparable part of the tradition and culture of eternal Bangla at Pahela Agrahayan during Hemanta (late autumn). A change in the air and with eye-catching sights of golden coloured paddy fields gives the signal of Hemanta (late autumn). ‘Aman’ is the harvest for which the farmers would wait the whole year as the production of rice becomes huge during this time. A farmer’s fate would be determined in the month of Kartik because a good harvest in this month meant that the family of a farmer was safe for one more year. In the past, farmers celebrated this festival in different ways. The families of the farmers would celebrate the occasion by preparing different kinds of food items, eating those tasty foods made from new crops and offering them to their neighbours as well. Sultan Ahmed, a farmer from Natore, said the production cost of Aman paddy is higher than last year, which allowed them to make profits. The prices of pesticides were also higher this season, he said. The Department of Agricultural Extension has targeted to produce 1.56 crore tonnes of rice during the ongoing harvest season of Aman.