Adopt conservation technologies for sustainable agriculture: experts

Publish: 7:38 PM, October 3, 2019 | Update: 7:38:PM, October 3, 2019

RANGPUR, – Expanded cultivation of high yielding and stress-tolerant crop varieties adopting conservation agriculture (CA)-based technologies could further increase food productivity for attaining sustainable agriculture.

Talking to BSS, agriculture experts said popularisation of CA-based technologies and mechanisation of agriculture among farmers would also
improve soil health and fertility along with reducing crop farming costs making agri-activities more profitable.

Agriculturist Dr. Md. Abdul Mazid, who got the Independence Medal (food security) last year, said Bangladesh is currently producing over 3.60-crore
tonnes food annually making the nation self-reliant on meeting food demand for its 16-crore population.

“The farmers have started reaping benefits from adoption of the eco- friendly CA-based agricultural technologies and proven practices having no
adverse effects on environment, ecology and bio-diversity,” he said.

He said the government has taken various pragmatic steps to keep the growth in food production increasing to further enhance food output by minimum 1.5 times within 2050 for feeding the country’s probable 22 crore population that time.

“The sustainability in the agricultural systems incorporates concepts of both resilience and persistence and addresses many wider economic, social and environmental outcomes to improve food productivity amid adverse impacts of changing climate,” he said.

For a sustainable agriculture, the nation must have to make productive use of nature’s goods and services and improved technologies, proven practices, knowledge and skills of farmers to solve common agricultural and natural resource problems.

“Expanded adoption of CA-based technologies like integrated pests’ and nutrient managements, reduced tillage, mechanisation of agriculture and
cultivation of less water consuming crops are inevitable for attaining sustainable agriculture,” he said.

The nation can achieve its sustainable food security through disseminating and popularising CA-based agriculture technologies at farmers’ level to
further increase crop production amid adverse impacts of climate change.

He put emphasis on quicker dissemination of the latest CA-based technologies among farmers with increased subsidies for easier procurement of
the necessary machineries, inputs, spares and other materials to facilitate the process at field levels.

“Adoption of these latest CA-based technologies and proven practices has already started helping farmers to increase crop yield, save water,
facilitate crop intensification and remunerative markets for their produce,” Dr. Mazid added.

Senior Coordinator (Agriculture and Environment) of RDRS Bangladesh Agriculturist Mamunur Rashid said adoption of CA-based technologies improves nutrient and fertiliser managements and reduces costs for labours, fuel and water.

“The farmers are reaping benefits from using CA-based technologies like minimum or zero tillage with power-tiller operated seeder machines, direct
seeded rice, bed- planting in light texture soil, Alternate Wetting and Drying (AWD) irrigation method,” he said.

Talking to BSS, Chairman of Rangpur-based research organisation ‘North Bengal Institute of Development Studies’ Agriculturist Dr. Syed Samsuzzaman stressed on large-scale adoption of CA-based technologies and mechanisation in agriculture.

He stressed on quicker delivery of CA- based technologies and providing necessary training to farmers to make farm activities more profitable for
sustainable agriculture.

Additional Director of Department of Agriculture Extension for Rangpur agriculture region Agriculturist Muhammad Ali said adoption of CA-based
technologies reduces number of irrigations while farming Boro rice on crop fields and production costs.

“We have started quicker delivery of CA-based technologies for system-based crop diversification to keep crop production increasing for ensuring food
security and attaining sustainability in agriculture,” Ali added.

Cultivation of flood-tolerant, drought-tolerant, cold-tolerant, hit- tolerant and disease-tolerant crop varieties is expanding every year adopting
CA-based technologies to increase food output in Rangpur agriculture region as elsewhere in the country.

“The crop intensity stood at 230.57 percent during 2016-2017 FY against 214 percent in 2008-2009 FY and the rising trend continues for adoption of CA- based technologies on way to attain sustainability in agriculture in Rangpur region,” Ali added.