‘Water saving technology vital to lessen pressure on groundwater’
RAJSHAHI -A substantial and sustainable promotion of water saving technologies can be the crucial means of lessening the pressure on underground water resources in the drought-prone Barind area.
Reaching the modern technologies like direct seeded rice, Alternate Wetting and Drying (AWD), conservation agriculture (CA) and less-irrigation consuming crops to the farmers’ doorsteps is very important so that they can contribute to the field as a whole.
The observations came at a daylong training module validation workshop titled “Water Saving Rice Production Technology in Barind Area” held in the city on Tuesday.
Addressing the workshop, a number of water and irrigation related experts urged all the government extension and research entities concerned to put in their best efforts to promote the water saving technologies successfully.
DASCOH Foundation hosted the workshop in its seminar hall in association with Introducing Water Efficient Technology in Barind Tract Project, Bangladesh Water Partnership (BWP), Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable
Agriculture Bangladesh (SFSA Bangladesh) and 2030 Water Resources Group (2030 WRG).
In addition to presenting a draft training module on water saving rice production technologies in Barind area, the workshop received contributions from the participating experts for validation and finalization of the training module.
The main objective of the project is to enhance agro-water efficiency, reduce ground-water extraction and increase farmers income by introducing “Water Efficient Technology” for irrigation.
Chairman of Barind Multipurpose Development Authority Dr Akram Hossain Chowdhury, professor emeritus of BRAC University Dr Ainun Nishat, chief executive officer of DASCOH Foundation Akramul Haque and BIDS Fellow Dr Md. Asaduzzaman addressed the workshop as guest speakers.
2030 WRG Bangladesh Program Coordinator Sayef Tanzeem Qayyum, SFSA Bangladesh Country Director Farhad Zamil, Professor Moshiur Rahman from Bangladesh Agricultural University and Professor Chowdhury Sarwar Jahan from Rajshahi University disseminated their expertise on the issue.
Dr Ainun Nishat says promotion of wide-ranging CA based technologies has become an urgent need in the drought-prone Barind tract to protect its soil health from further degradation.
Principles of CA are: use of reduced tillage, retention of some amounts of residues in 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. In his remarks, Prof Moshiur Rahman mentions DSR is the viable option to
reduce the unproductive water flows. Water scarcity, common rice cultivation and increasing labour wages trigger searching for such alternative crop establishment methods which can increase water productivity.
Dr Akram Chowdhury says time has come to promote the less-water consuming crops like wheat, maize, pulses, oilseed and spices. Akramul Haque reveals AWD adoption would result in a fivefold reduction in requirement for water and save 30 litres of diesel used for irrigation.
AWD is a water-saving technology that farmers can apply to reduce their irrigation water consumption in rice fields without decreasing its yield.
Scientists and researchers from DAE, BMDA, BARI, IRRI, BRRI, Local Government, Bangladesh Agricultural University and Rajshahi University joined the workshop putting forward a set of recommendations on how to achieve desired yield in this regard.