Sowing of Rabi crop delayed
Qurban Ali Khushik
October 10, 2011
THE ‘early Rabi crop’ season has started while the rainwater
in inundated fields in Dadu district has not been drained
out, keeping the growers worried about when and how to
cultivate wheat, vegetables and other seasonable crops.
A paddy grower from Mehar, Kazi Shafiq Ahmed Mahisar, said
that breaches of Simm Nullas and waterways damaged during
recent rains were not plugged by irrigation department and
the Wapda. It is not possible to drain out rainwater
accumulated in fields till January because the stagnant
water had no natural path to flow out.
A small farmer Abdul Rahim from Dadu taluka said he had sold
some jewellery of his wife to purchase paddy seed and
fertiliser, and cultivated paddy on his 14 acres. The crop
on 12 acres was damaged in the recent rains and he had
suffered huge losses. The left over crop would not cover
even the expenses of fertiliser used in crop cultivation.
The crop on 12 out of 14 acres was inundated and water was
standing in his fields. Nobody was ready to purchase his
damaged paddy on the remaining two acres, he said. If the
government drained out water from his land, he could sow
wheat and Juar to make up for his losses, he added.
Ghulam Ali Arain, a trader from Dadu town, said that paddy
rates would rise within 10 to 15 days because of damage to
the crop in lower Sindh and some parts of Dadu district in
upper Sindh. He said that he was purchasing damaged crop
from growers at Rs600-650 per maund.
President of Sindh Abadgar Board, Dadu, Dharam Das stated
that the Rabi season had started but the accumulated water,
if not drained out, would affect wheat target for 2011-12. A
target of 2.2 million bags of wheat was set by the food
department for Dadu district and 1.9 million bags were
procured from the growers in 2010-11. Besides, some two
million wheat bags were purchased by traders of other parts
of Sindh from the district the same year.
He said growers had already suffered losses as 30 per cent
paddy crop was damaged in Dadu district. If water was not
flushed out from the inundated areas, the loss to growers
would be colossal in Rabi season. Dharam Das said the season
for cultivating wheat would end by November 30 and if
cultivated late, the yield would suffer to a great extent.
On directives of President Asif Ali Zardari, a camp was set
up in Dadu to supervise the process of dewatering from
various parts of the district.
Pir Mazhar ul haq, Senior Sindh Minister, who had also set
up a camp to supervise the process, said: “A total of 0.3
million acres were inundated in the district”. He said that
paddy, cotton and vegetables on 1,53,000 acres out of 0.3
million acres were completely damaged..
He said 70 per cent water was drained out from all towns of
the district and the process was continuing. “Rainwater from
all fields will be drained out within 30 days in urban and
rural areas of the district and growers will be able to
cultivate wheat and vegetables,” he said. “Heavy machines
are being used to flush out water from fields in Phulji,
Sita, Piarogoth, Khudabad, Radhan, Mehar and Johi areas.”
He said that DCO Dr Niaz Abbasi and MPAs and MNAs were
supervising their areas and growers had started cultivating
wheat on the right side of the River Indus of Dadu district.
Chairman of Rice Mills Association, Sindh-Balochistan, Arif
Mahisar, said local traders and owners of rice mills were
buying paddy from growers at Rs800-900 per maund in Larkana,
Qambar Shahdadkot, Jaccobabad, Shikarpur, Ghotki and Sukkur
districts of upper Sindh and also north part of Dadu
He said paddy prices would rise with increase in its rates
in international market. He demanded of the Pasco to set up
procurement centres earlier to purchase damaged paddy.
General Secretary of Sindh Abadgar Board Mehmood Nawaz Shah
said that Kharif crops including paddy were affected in
parts of flood protective embankment, Mehar, Johi, Radhan,
Dadu and Mehar. Rainwater was still standing in some areas.
He said that some 20-30 per cent of paddy crop was inundated
in lower and Upper Sindh in recent rains.
There were problems for Rabi crops in rain-affected parts of
Dadu, Sanghar, Mirpurkhas, Tando Allahyar, Badin and Umerkot
districts. He feared that water would remain in
rain-affected low lying areas beyond January next year
affecting cultivation of wheat. Wheat production could
suffer this Kharif season and the yield could be less than
achieved last year, he said.
He suggested that cultivation of sunflower would be
favourable for growers in rain-affected areas of Sindh which
could be cultivated in January and would take 120 days for
preparation for harvesting.
Courtesy: The DAWN