A delegation from the Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI) visited the affected Boro paddy fields of haor areas in various upazilas of Netrokona on Tuesday to determine the real cause of the damages.
Head of the delegation and Principal Scientific Officer at the BRRI Dr Md Nazmul Bari said, "This is a kind of 'heat shock'. Hot gusts blew through many paddy fields last Sunday night and affected paddies at the flowering or milking stage."
Habibur Rahman, deputy director of the district agricultural extension department, said the BRRI- 29 and hybrid varieties of paddy had suffered the most. As the BRRI-28 was quite ripe, they did not suffer much damage.
At least 14,420 hectares of land in six upazilas – Khaliajuri, Madan, Kendua, Mohanganj, Durgapur and Barhatta – have been affected by the heat shock, he said adding that the production of paddy in the district will be less by at least 86,520 tonnes, which will adversely affect the total production target.
Approximately, the total financial loss would be Tk224.95 crore. However, local people's representatives and farmers think that the amount would be much higher.
Field-level agriculture officials said haor farmers are accustomed to dealing with disasters like floods, droughts or hailstorms but heat shock is new to them.
According to district agriculture department sources, Boro has been planted in 1,84,983 hectares of land in 10 upazilas of Netrokona this year and the production target has been set at 11,46,740 tonnes.
Hot gusts were blowing through different areas in the district from Sunday evening till 11 pm. The gusts were hotter after 9pm.