Officials and experts say that there will not be much damage to the paddy crop from stormy weather and floods this year
Since this is the harvesting season, paddy farmers across the country are concerned about possible damage to their crops cause by Nor'westers, or summer storms, locally known as Kalbaishakhi.
However, officials and experts say that there will not be much damage to the paddy crop from stormy weather and floods this year.
"The ongoing mild heat wave across the country will remain the same for the next six to seven days. But there is a small possibility of light rain in Northern, North-eastern and North-western areas in the evenings and early in the mornings," said Md Rashaduzzaman, a meteorologist at the Bangladesh Meteorology Department yesterday.
Asked about the probability of the formation of depressions over the Bay of Bengal, he said, "We cannot say anything right now. We are observing whether such systems are developing. People are already scared about cyclones, but we have not declared anything yet."
"There is a possibility. After the system has developed, we can say what will happen next. We can confirm the matter two days later," he said while speaking to The Business Standard.
Earlier in the day, Meteorologist AKM Nazmul Haque said areas in Faridpur, Madaripur, Kushtia and Jashore are likely to be hit by Kalbaishakhis in the next one or two days.
Md Nasiruzzaman, secretary to the agriculture ministry, said Kalbaishakhis cannot cause extensive damage to paddy crops.
"Earlier, we brought Tk200 crore worth of agricultural machinery for farmers, most of which were for harvesting paddy," he said. "We had distributed the machines, and paddy harvesting in haor (low-lying) areas has been completed hundred percent. So, there is no worry about the paddy in haor areas."
"We hope the paddy will not be affected much this year," the secretary told The Business Standard.
Md Arifuzzaman Bhuyan, executive engineer of the Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre under the Bangladesh Water Development Board, said there are possibilities of floods this year, but they will start at the end June.
"We had big floods last year, just as in 2017. We might also have floods this year, but not just now," he said told The Business Standard.
"The country will be at risk of flooding between the end of June and mid-September," he added.
He said Kalbaishakhis may cause a short-term flood, but they are not the key reason for floods.
"The main reason for floods is the effect of the monsoon in the country. And that effect generally starts at the end June every year. A more severe monsoon means there will be more rain, and it will cause floods," he said.
A recent report by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) reveals that Bangladesh's total paddy cultivation areas and production levels in 2019-20 (May-April) are projected to increase slightly to 11.8 million hectares and 35.3 million tonnes.