Friday, January 4th, 2019

Experts for adoption of conservation agriculture technologies

Published 11:03 pm | January 04, 2019

Agriculture experts have favoured for adoption of conservation agriculture (CA) technologies and mechanisation of
agriculture to adapt adverse impacts of climate change for increasing food production.

Agriculturist Dr Md Abdul Mazid, who got the Independence Award 2018
Medal on food security category last year, said Bangladesh has achieved
laudable success in adapting to climate change in the agriculture sector to
increase food production.

Appreciating the pragmatic steps taken by the government in last years
to increase food productivity by adapting to changing climate, he said the
farmers have already started reaping benefits of adoption of CA-based
technologies in the country.

He said large-scale cultivation of climate smart crops adopting proven
technologies, best farm practices, balanced fertilisation and pest control
and expansion of irrigation facilities are major reasons behind boost in food
output.

“Bangladesh is producing over 34.8 million metric tonnes of clean rice
annually in addition to other cereal crops making the country self-reliant on
food for its 160 million populations on way to attain the sustainable
development goals by 2030,” he said.

The growth in rice production will continue to increase following
various pragmatic steps of the government to further enhance its output by
almost one and a half times by 2050 to feed probable 220 million populations.

Dr Mazid, a former Chief Scientific Officer of Bangladesh Rice Research
Institute, said farmers have started using improved eco-friendly agriculture
technologies and practices almost having no adverse effects on the
environment and bio-diversity.

“We have to ensure effective extension of latest technologies among the
farmers using ICT and video-based training facilities to resolve agricultural
and local natural resource problems for attaining sustainability in
agriculture,” he said.

He suggested for adoption of resource-conserving and CA-based
technologies, practices, integrated pest and nutrient managements and agro-
forestry for keeping food production increasing all the time for sustainable
agriculture.

Horticulture Specialist of the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE)
at its regional office Khondker Md Mesbahul said food production is
increasing consistently following adoption of CA-based technologies and farm
mechanisation in last one decade.

The farmers produced 34.22-lakh tonnes of rice and wheat in five
districts of Rangpur agriculture region alone during the 2016-2017 seasons
against 18.90-lakh tonnes food demand of 1.61-crore population with 15.32-
lakh tonnes surplus food.

“However, the farmers produced 29.40-lakh tonnes rice and wheat during
the 2008-2009 seasons against 17.26-lakh tonnes food demand of 1.04-crore
population then with 12.14-lakh tonnes surplus food in the region,” Islam
added.

He hoped that the nation might attain sustainability in agriculture soon
as crop intensity stood at 230.57 percent during 2016-2017 against 214
percent in 2008-2009 seasons as the trend continues in Rangpur agriculture
region as elsewhere in the country.

Deputy Director of the DAE at its regional office here Md Moniruzzaman
told BSS that the food productivity would continue to increase as the farmers
already started using quality seed of climate smart crops and CA-based
technologies in crop cultivation.

“To increase food productivity consistently, we have to reach quality
seed of high yielding crops and technologies for seed production of hybrid
crops to the farmers along with providing necessary training on latest
technologies,” he said.

He suggested agriculture scientists for conducting continuous research to innovate more climate smart high yielding and hybrid varieties of crops to further increase food productivity adopting CA-based technologies for ensuring food security.

(BSS)

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