Bangladeshi farmers drown in debt as floods destroy crops

by Farid Ahmed

Photo: © Farid Ahmed/IRIN
A farmer inspects his flood-damaged rice crop in Manikanj District.  Farmers who’ve lost crops are unable to pay back loans, but must borrow more to prepare for the next growing season. Government assistance is totally inadequate to address the problem.  Photo: ©  Farid Ahmed/IRIN (Click to see larger photo.)

Months of flooding have wiped out entire villages and crops in Bangladesh, pushing farmers deeper into a cycle of debt that they can’t escape without more government help. About 4.2 million people have been affected by flooding in at least 19 districts since July, according to the government and aid agencies.