We had about 10 acres of land taken by the river: Shahidul

October 4, 2008 | By | Reply More

SHAHIDUL Islam (Farmer, Anantaram, Pirgachha, Rangpur) has planted jute on his 20 decimals of land. Although jute cultivation is apparently decreasing according to him, prices are far better than they used to be. He has only settled here a few years ago and has not yet been able to buy more land for intense cultivation.

The young man moved from Mithapukur, an adjacent sub-district, with his wife just to escape from river erosion. ‘We had about 10 acres of land taken by the river. My sister has had to move three times, each time having to build her house again, ever since she got married a few years ago and settled there.’ Another problem is arsenic contamination of water. ‘Since we mostly use ground water, the water level is continuously going down. I remember when I was a child, we could get water if we dug a deep enough hole in the ground, just like that. Nowadays, the shallow water pumps have to be placed in holes to get water which is sinking ever lower.’ He says very soon, even the shallow pumps would be useless and only deep tube-wells would be remain in use for irrigation.

Although there has not been much rain, there was a brief hailstorm last week in the area, said Shahidul. ‘It has harmed the yield around here but not substantially. A few years ago though, there was a severe hailstorm just a few days before the paddy would be ripe for cutting and thousands of farmers lost their entire harvest.’ As for himself, the dry weather has apparently affected the jute that Shahidul planted. ‘If the rains had come earlier, I think I would have got at least three maunds of jute but now it will probably be more like just two maunds,’ he said.

At the mention of livestock, Shahidul says, ‘The effect of drought is plain in livestock. It is like they have gone into hibernation. More often than not they weigh less than they would during other times of the year.’ But he points out that more and more land is either being cultivated so there are hardly pastures left. ‘Besides, it seems that the land is becoming barren gradually, I don’t know why.’

Courtesy: New Age

Tags: , , , ,

Category: Climate Change

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.