IRRI-Boro cultivation is going on in full swing in nine upazilas of the district.
Farmers in the upazilas are passing busy time planting seedlings of IRRI-Boro paddy, ignoring the biting cold during the peak cultivation season.
The upazilas are Sadar, Chatkhil, Sonaimuri, Begumganj, Senbagh, Kabirhat, Companiganj, Subarnachar and Hatia.
Due to high prices of farm inputs, 90,000 hectares of agricultural land in the district have remained uncultivated this season.
According to the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE), 65,950 hectares of land in the upazilas have been brought under IRRI-Boro cultivation with a production target of 3.5 lakh tonnes of paddy. Of them, hybrid paddy has been cultivated on 50,000 hectares of land.
Farmers Abdur Rahman of Lotpatia village in Chatkhil upazila, Harunur Rashid of Dutterbagh village, Nur Mohammad of Sundarpur area in the municipality, Shamsul Haque of Tatharkhil village in Sonaimuri upazila, and Abdur Rahman of Dharmapur union in Sadar upazila said now it is the peak cultivation season of IRRI-Boro paddy. The cultivation started full swing.
They remain busy preparing the field from dawn to dusk, but there is an acute shortage of farm labourers, said the growers.
Meanwhile, IRRI-Boro cultivation is being hampered in the ongoing season in the district due to high prices of fuel oil and fertilisers. Wages of the labourers have also been increased, hampering plantation of the paddy.
If a labourer works in the field from 8:00am to 1:00pm, he charges Tk 600 to Tk 700 with lunch, said the farmers.
Meanwhile, in January, 3,519 MT of fertiliser has been allotted through six fertiliser dealers of Bangladesh Chemical Industries Corporation (BCIC) and 61 fertiliser dealers of Bangladesh Agriculture Development Corporation (BADC) in the district. Of them, urea fertiliser is 3,303 MT, TSP 942 MT, MOP 690 MT and DAP 1,052 MT.
Ayub Mahmud, deputy director of DAE in Noakhali, said if the weather remains favourable, the production target for IRRI-Boro will be achieved this year.