Prospect of boosting lentil output bright in Rajshahi region

Prospect of boosting lentil output bright in Rajshahi region

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Prospects of boosting additional around one lakh metric tons of lentil output is bright in the region including the vast barind tract.
Agricultural extension officials, scientists and researchers concerned revealed the prospect referring to some on-farm research findings.The studies evaluated a set of conservation agriculture based resource conserving tillage techniques to address how to use residual soil moisture in rain-fed areas, higher cost of production and low productivity due to late planting in the region.They mentioned that substantial and sustainable promotion of high yielding varieties and modern farming technologies has become an urgent need to materialize the existing potentialities for meeting up the country’s gradually increasing demand of the cereal crop. Around 80,000 hectares of land remain fallow for more than three months after the harvest of transplanted aman paddy every year. There has been bright scope of bringing the huge land under the pulse farming in order to best uses of those alongside increasing cropping intensity amid the current water-stress condition.Dr Israil Hossain, Chief Scientific Officer of Regional Wheat Research
Center (RWRC), said recent research has uncovered two new high-yielding, disease-resistant varieties of lentil which has the potential to significantly raise productivity and strengthen food and nutritional security in Bangladesh.There are enormous prospects of harvesting additional one lakh tonnes of lentil every year including the high barind tract comprising Rajshahi, Naogaon and Chapainawabgonj districts.He says there should be adequate measures for motivating the farmers to make the farming popular and profitable at the growers’ level. The farmers need power tiller operated seeder and bed-planter machines on subsidized rate for successful promotion of farming mechanizations for expansion and adoption of conservation agriculture (CA) system.Principles of conservation agriculture are use of reduced tillage, retention of some amounts of residues on the field, sustainable and profitable crop diversification and its rotation and judicious use of natural resources.RWRC has started conducting various programmes including farmers’ motivation and training, field demonstration and supplying necessary inputs like seed in association with International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) and Krishi Gobeshona Foundation.“We will impart training to more than 1,000 farmers to elevate their knowledge of how to cultivate the cash crop in modern method,” he said.He referred to various salient features of the cash crop. He said: “No additional cost for fertilizer, pesticide and irrigation is needed to cultivate this sort-term cash crop”.Strip tillage is being replaced to existing conventional system with higher crop productivity and reduces cost of planting. Residual soil moisture can be utilized through strip tillage technique by advancing the seeding of wheat and lentil after T. Aman harvest.Dr Ilias Hossain, Senior Scientific Officer of RWRC, said the cultivation of pulse has been playing a significant role in crop intensity and diversification. Because, he said, the crop is short-term and it could be cultivated easily on the rice- based cropping pattern.Referring to the immense prospect of the crops, he also said that if the yield could be enhanced to the expected level through successful expansion of the modern cultivation method among the growers, country’s hard-earned foreign currencies would be saved.The country has to import huge quantity of pulses especially lentil to meet its domestic demand. Since there is a bright prospect of increasing its acreage, lentil could be produced in larger amount with less production cost and the yield will no doubt lessen pressure on import. -BSS, Rajshahi

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