Farmers worried about tourists damaging mustard crops

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Farmers worried about tourists damaging mustard crops

Golam Mostofa, Tarash (Sirajganj):

The beautiful yellow mustard fields in Bangladesh’s Chalanbeel region are a popular tourist destination, but they are also causing concern for farmers.

In recent years, the number of tourists visiting Chalanbeel to take pictures in the mustard fields has increased. However, many of these tourists are damaging the crops by walking on them or trampling them with their shoes.

“It’s like they’re ghosts,” said Delwar Hossain, a farmer in the Suguna Union of Tarash Upazila. “They don’t care about our crops. They just want to take pictures.”

Hossain and other farmers say that tourists often ignore warnings not to walk on the crops. They also say that the tourists often choose to take pictures in the most productive areas of the fields, where the mustard plants are the most dense.

“Their high heels and boots crush the plants and knock the flowers off,” said Hossain.

The damage caused by tourists is particularly concerning this year, as the mustard harvest is expected to be lower than last year. The Tarash Upazila Agriculture Office said that 4,000 hectares of land were planted with mustard this year, compared to 6,312 hectares last year.

“Tourists can take pictures in the mustard fields without damaging the crops,” said Abdullah Al Mamun, the Upazila Agriculture Officer. “They just need to be careful not to walk on the plants.”

Mamun urged tourists to be respectful of the farmers’ property and to take pictures in a way that does not damage the crops.

In the meantime, farmers are taking steps to protect their crops. Some farmers are putting up signs warning tourists not to walk on the fields. Others are hiring security guards to patrol the fields and prevent tourists from damaging the crops.

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