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Drought-prone Barind tract needs conservation agriculture technology

Drought-prone Barind tract needs conservation agriculture technology

Time has come to wide-ranging and sustainable expansion and promotion of conservation agriculture (CA) based technologies in the drought-prone Barind tract to protect its soil health from further degradation, agricultural scientists and researchers in a discussion here said.They viewed principles of conservation agriculture are use of reduced tillage, retention of some amounts of residues on the field, optimum use of natural resources, sustainable and profitable crop diversification and its rotation and judicious use of fertilizers and pesticides.The technology could be the effective means of utilizing the minimum amount of water for crop establishment like avoiding paddling operation in present context of climate change especially unpredictable rainfall, unusual drought and other natural calamities.Field level agricultural officials and staffs are the key players to reach the modern technologies to the farmers’ doorsteps so that they are habituated to promote those successfully.The observations came at a daylong training workshop styled “Promotion of Conservation Agriculture Technologies in Drought-prone Barind Tract” held at the seminar room of Regional Wheat Research Center (RWRC) in Rajshahi city yesterday.RWRC organized the training in association with Department of Agriculture Extension and Krishi Goveshona Foundation. More than 30 field assistants, sub-assistant agriculture officers, scientific assistants and senior scientific assistants and NGO personalities attended the event.Director (Research) of Bangladesh Agriculture Research Institute Dr Jalal Uddin and its Chief Scientific Officer Dr ASM Mahbubur Rahman Khan addressed the inaugural session as chief and special guests respectively with Dr Ilias Hossain, Senior Scientific Officer of RWRC, in the chair.RWRC Senior Scientific Officer Nur-E-Alam Siddiqui, Agricultural Economist Dr Kamrul Hassan, Principal Scientific Officer Dr Shafiqul Islam and Executive Director of ASSEDO Agriculturist Rabiul Alam also spoke.
During his keynote-paper presentation, Dr Ilias Hossaid said raised-beds technology facilitate sowing without waste of time allowing crop growth to better match water availability. Under the conventional system, the single largest constraint requires planting of wheat in the country late in winter, leading to a poor yield.
Bed planting improves water distribution and irrigation efficiency, gives better results in using fertilisers and pesticides and reduces weed infestation and crop lodging. It saves crops from disturbance from rats, Dr Hossain said.The pattern helps farmers save 30 percent irrigation water and 30 to 40 percent of seeds and fertilizers.He said some proven benefits of the conservation agriculture-based machinery such as power tiller operated seeder (PTOS) and bed former or planters are included early planting, increased yields, reduce production costs and water requirement and help improve the environment by reducing the greenhouse gas emissions.International donor organizations should support such kind of need-oriented agricultural activity for its large-scale promotion which needs supply of need-based adequate machineries.
Demand of food production is gradually increasing to feed the huge number population and more pressures are coming on per-unit cultivable land. To this end, the new and updated technology is capable to enhance production and productivity in cost-effective way, he added.By using the new pattern of crop rotation, the huge tracts of land that remain fallow in the Barind after the harvest of transplanted Aman each year, could be used to grow wheat or lentil, followed by moog daal, by providing small irrigation facilities, said Dr Hossain. BSS, Rajshahi