The use of subsidized combine harvester machinery has increased in Chuadanga agriculture. The Department of Agriculture says farmers have saved around 70 crore in labor and other expenses by cutting the paddy using harvesters during the planting season.
According to information obtained from Chuadanga Agricultural Extension Department, 38 thousand 699 hectares of paddy have been planted in Chuadanga district. In Chuadanga Sadar Upazila 14,000,460 hectares, Alamdanga Upazila 7,000,641, Damurhuda Upazila 8,000,648 and Jibannagar Upazila 7,000,950 hectares of land. According to a report, farmers have harvested 30,959 hectares of paddy this season using combine harvesters, accounting for 80 percent of the area.
According to information from the engineering department of the agricultural extension department of Chuadanga, 23 Japanese Yanmar and 25 Kubota combines were distributed to 4 upazilas in the district at subsidized prices. 16 of these devices were distributed in Sadar Upazila, 15 in Alamdanga Upazila, 10 in Damurhuda Upazila and 7 in Jibannagar Upazila. Marginal farmers benefit.
According to the Department of Agriculture, state-of-the-art technology is used at every stage of the threshing and conservation work to make the land arable. At present, 90 percent of land cultivation, 80 percent of irrigation, 70 percent of crop production and threshing, 2 percent of harvesting and 1 percent of planting use machinery at the instead of traditional methods. The demand for devices by type is increasing.
Noor Islam Islam, a farmer from Dihi Kestpur village in Chuadanga Sadar upazila, said: “Two and a half bighas of paddy have been lost due to rain in the past two years. The availability of these devices has been beneficial. At half the cost i.e. Tk 2,400-2,500 per bigha of paddy, we can cut, thresh and thresh the paddy and bring it home in bags. Previously, it cost Rs 6000-7 per bigha to cut paddy with labor. Moreover, even if it rains, we don’t have to worry about harvesting rice. No matter how much rainwater there is in the land, the paddy is easily harvested by this machine.
Farmer Saiful Islam from Shankarachandra village of the same upazila said that we were able to harvest paddy in less time and at lower cost. No one is available to harvest paddy from rainwater. Costs are higher due to rain. At that time, it was difficult to cut the paddy in the water. With this machine, we cut the paddy even in a foot of water and immediately bring it home from the field. If my 4 bigha of paddy had been harvested by people, it would have cost 20-25 thousand taka. Using this machine, I was able to harvest paddy for 10,000 rupees and dry it in the sun for 2 hours and sell it in the market.
Shariful Islam from the same village said, “I harvested 10 bigha of paddy with this machine. This harvester is profitable for farmers. It cost 45,000 taka to cut paddy with people. I was able to cut paddy with a combine harvester and bring it home after spending 10,000 taka.’
Sofikur Rahman Raju, president of Garaitupi Union Parishad of Chuadanga Sadar Upazila, said, “Although I am the president, I am a farmer. Cultivate hundreds of bighas of family land. The combine harvester that I took from the agriculture office at a subsidized price to support the farmers in my area, I think of the marginal farmers in my area and to support my agriculture. As I take advantage of it, marginal farmers in my area can bring paddy home in a short time. Overall, the initiative taken by the government is timely. Farmers will benefit if it continues.
Chuadanga District Combine Owners Association Chairman Noor Alam Liton said that as the farmers benefit from the combine harvester, we also benefit by cutting the farmers’ paddy.
Talha Zubair Masrur, Agriculture Officer of Chuadanga Sadar Upazila, said, “The main advantage of the combine harvester is that it can cut and thresh 3 bigha paddy in just 1 hour and deliver it to the house. Paddy can be harvested using this machine under adverse weather conditions. In the current season, about 80 percent of the paddy has been harvested using combine harvesters. By harvesting paddy using a harvester during the planting season, the farmers saved about 70 crores in labor and other expenses. However, some NGOs are running a negative combine-for-money campaign to challenge this extraordinary government agri-friendly initiative. For a long time, various donor organizations have been lobbying the government not to subsidize agriculture. These foreign-funded local NGOs will also be identified.
Bivas Chandra Saha, Deputy Director of Chuadanga Agricultural Extension Department, said, “These combines are given to farmers with a 50% subsidy with the help of upazila agricultural agents. Under the agricultural machinery agricultural production scheme, a farmer can purchase a combine harvester worth around Rs 30 lakh for Rs 14 lakh. This time, with the help of a combine harvester, the farmer’s paddy was harvested from the field.