Agriculture Minister Dr Abdur Razzak on Wednesday said that about 65 percent of the paddy has been harvested so far in the country's haor (low-lying wetland) areas, which is the key region for paddy production.
He was inspecting paddy harvesting in Shanghai Haor in South Sunamganj upazila on Wednesday afternoon.
"The haor area of Sunamganj is deep and vulnerable. But fortunately, 75 percent of the paddy has been harvested in the district. Farmers were happy to see bumper yields this year in the haor area," the minister said.
Regarding the shortage of labourers in haor areas due to the Covid-19 shutdown, he said, "As there is a lack of labourers, we have brought workers from different districts under special arrangements with the help of the administration. Additionally, more than four hundred combine harvester machines are being used in the fields to speed up paddy harvesting."
At present, 3.25 lakh people are working in the haor area. Everyone is cutting paddy, maintaining social distancing, he added.
The minister then inaugurated the Boro Paddy procurement drive at Lalpur in Gaurarang Union under Sadar Upazila.
He said since the prime minister has given importance to haor areas, it has been possible to harvest paddy in such a short time. Farmers are happy with the good yield, and they are also getting better prices.
"Bangladesh used to be a country of food scarcity, a land of famine. Natural disasters would destroy crops here. But today Bangladesh is self-reliant in food. This year the haor areas have managed to yield a bumper Boro paddy."
Planning Minister MA Mannan, Sunamganj-5 lawmaker Mohibur Rahman Manik, Sunamganj-1 MP Mouazzam Hossain Ratan, Sunamganj-4 Jatiya Party MP Advocate Pir Fazlur Rahman, Deputy Commissioner Mohammad Abdul Ahad, Superintendent of Police Mohammad Mizanur Rahman were, among others, present at that time.