Farmers of northern region of the country are in fear of facing a setback in the upcoming boro farming as the irrigation for farming may hamper due to the recent hike in diesel price.
The government has increased the prices of all kinds of petroleum products by Tk 5 to Tk 8 per litre. According to the latest rate, effective from 18 September midnight, at present diesel is selling at Tk 45 per litre against the previous rate of Tk 42 to Tk 43.
The high price of diesel has worried the farmers that they would have to face incur high production cost in the upcoming Boro season.
Farmers of the northern region said that they
would have to spend at least Tk 1000 more per Bigha in the upcoming season for irrigation that would create problem of those farmers who were going to cultivate boro taking loan from bank.
They also said that if the price hike continued, the farmers, who would farm boro paddy on other people’s lands taking lease or others condition, would also suffer as they had to expend extra money for diesel price hike.
‘We have to count an additional cost of Tk 1,200 to Tk 1,600 for farming one bigha of Boro land as diesel-run shallow operators have already increased irrigation charge following the hike of Tk 6 per litre in diesel price,’ said Tariqul Islam, a farmer of village Kalushahar under Mohadevpur upazila in Naogaon.
Not only Tariqul Islam but also many farmers of the Barind tract areas are getting worried over the hike in fuel price as it will push up their production cost seriously.
Many farmers, expressing dissatisfaction, said that the present government said that they were very agriculture-friendly but without logical ground they increased price of diesel, fertilisers, pesticides and other agro-products.
Moklesur Rahman, a farmer of Rajabari under Godagari in Rajshahi, told that the agriculture minister should reconsider the price of diesel and urea fertiliser.
Agriculture researcher at the University of Dhaka, Shah Jahangir Alam, told New Age that the government decision to increase the price of diesel was a big blow for agriculture sector as it might hamper Boro cultivation in the upcoming season.
Calling upon the government to be more agriculture and farmer-friendly, he said the government should reconsider the decision.
Talking to New Age correspondent many farmers of Paba, Tanore upazilas of Rajshahi, Mohadevpur, Manda of Naogaon, Ishwardi of Pabna, Akkelpur of Joypurhat expressed their grave concern over the sudden rise in diesel price.
Following the fuel price hike, around Tk 3,200 to Tk 4,000 would have to
be spent to complete
irrigation of one bigha Boro land while it was required Tk 1,920 to Tk 2,400 last year, said farmers of the region.
According to the farmers, at least five-time irrigation is needed to complete Boro farming.
Many poor farmers would not be able to bear the irrigation cost due to diesel price hike, they added.
‘Our target of farming may not be achieved this season for the hike in fuel price,’ Kamal Pasa, a farmer of Keshorhat at Mohanpur upazila in Rajshahi.