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Faridpur aubergine farming receives severe blow

Tuesday 08 December, 2015 12:00:00 am

United News
Faridpur, Dec 08 (UNB)–Aubergine farmers in Faridpur have suffered unremitting losses this season due to death of plants of the vegetable caused by a kind of unknown disease and frequent rainfalls.

 

Around 5,000 farmers in the district went through the ordeal.

 

The disease coupled with rainwater caused extensive damage to the leaves, stems and roots of the plants.

 

As a result, aubergines were produced far less than the growers expected, even making it difficult for many to recover the production expenditure.

 

The famers are now unable to repay the money they took as loan from local NGOs with high hope of gaining profit from the vegetable.

 

Shaildubi in Sadarpur upazila is the hot spot of vegetable farming in the district.

 

The area is mostly prominent for aubergine farming as demand is high for the vegetable.

 

However, this year’s prolonged monsoon damaged half of the aubergines in the area.

 

The other half was destroyed by the unidentified disease.

 

While talking to some farmers in Shaildubi, they informed the UNB correspondent that their dreams of earning money for survival of their families have been shattered with the death of their aubergine plants.

 

Farmers Hafiz Matubbar, Nasir Molla and Haris Matubbar said a good many of the growers would have to pay back the loans they had taken from local NGOs at high interest rates.

 

But as they have no produce to sell and earn money, they are facing financial hardship finding no way to pay off monthly loan installments.

 

Meanwhile, some farmers are trying to produce other vegetables such as pumpkins in the fields of their already damaged aubergines.

 

Farmer Sadek Fakir told UNB, “I have incurred a heavy loss from cultivation of aubergines this year.

That’s why, to recover form loss, I am trying to grow pumpkins now on my land.”

 

Sadarpur upazila chairman Kazi Shafiqul Islam said aubergine farmers had to bear a heavy loss this year due to sheer bad luck and unpredictable weather condition.

 

The authorities should come forward to help these distressed farmers, he remarked.

 

Deputy Director of the Department of Agriculture Expansion, Faridpur GM Abdur Rouf said it is true that the district’s agricultural department was unable to offer assistance to the affected the farmers in minimising their losses.

 

However, the department will help the farmers get acquainted with new farming methods for growing vegetables with which they can minimise their losses in the future, he added.