Organic fertilization effective for boosting cropping yield in Rajshahi

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RAJSHAHI, Sept 28, 2019 (BSS)- Liming and organic fertilization has been
found effective towards boosting cropping yield through protecting soil
health in the high Barind area.

Organic matter creates a positive soil environment from which plants can
uptake nutrients from applied chemical fertilizers. It increases uptake of
applied chemical fertilizers by the plants which contributes to increasing
crop productivity through reducing toxic flow of active chemical fertilizers
to the environment.

These were ascertained in 10 experimental plots of wheat, lentil, potato
and chickpea at six separate locations in Rajshahi, Chapainawabganj and
Naogaon districts recently.

The cash crops were cultivated in two separate demonstration plots, one
experiment and other farmers’ practice, to evaluate the effects of liming and
organic matter on soil properties, soil health and growth traits.

The field level experiments conducted by Rajshahi regional office of Soil
Resource Development Institute (SRDI) showed better yields than that of the
conventional plots.

Dr Nurul Islam, Senior Scientific Officer of SRDI, said each of the ten
farmers were given all sorts of impute supports including fertilizer, labour,
water for irrigation and technical knowhow for farming crops on one bigha of
experimental plot.

Taimur Ali, a farmer of Parbatipur area under Gomostapur Upazila, had
cultivated wheat on two bigha of lands and harvested 18 mounds of yield from
the one-bigha experiment plot while 12 mound from the conventional one.

“I have harvested nine mounds of lentil from the experiment plot while six
mounds from his own conventional system,” said Shariful Alam, another farmer
of Patari villag under Shapaher Upazila, adding that the liming and organic
matter system is cost-effective.

Potato yield was 115 mounds per bigha in experimental plot against 90 mound
of farmers practice while the yield of chickpea was 13 mounds of experimental
plot against six mounds of conventional system, said farmer Saiful Islam of
Badhair village under Tanore Upazila.

Dr Nurul Islam said soil organic matter is a key factor in maintaining
long-term soil fertility since it is the reservoir of metabolic energy, which
drives soil biological processes involved in nutrient availability.

The farmers applied half-rated chemical fertilizer along with optimum
organic fertilizer and bio-pesticide in their fields in order to make them
financially benefited side by side with protecting the soil health.

Main objective of the experiment was to achieve more broad based and
sustainable outcomes in soil health, food security, environment management
and economic opportunity in the region.

“We have provided technical knowledge on proper and effective application
of organic method in farming fields to the targeted farmers,” he added.

Most of the soils in the Barind area have less than 1.5 percent and some
soils contain even less than 1 percent organic matter whereas a good soil
should have at least 2.5 percent organic matter.

He defined that organic matter supplies plant nutrients, increases water
holding capacity of soil, reduce residual negative effect of fertilizers and
pesticides. It makes the crops more tolerant to diseases, insects and also
prevents soil erosion.

It is also the energy source for soil microorganisms, which are the primary
agents that enhance the decomposition and release of minerals in soil system.

As a whole, soil environment is very important for plant growth and soil pH
is the most important indicator of soil environment.

Dr Islam said bringing all the farming fields under liming and organic
fertilization is a big challenge but there is no way but face the challenge
to protect the soil health.

In the present context of exorbitant use of chemical fertilizer and
pesticides in farms, the issue of water and soil pollution is being adjudged
as a serious threat to the public health.

The problem, however, can be mitigated to a greater extent through
promoting organic fertilization and creating public awareness on the issue.

Time has come to replicate the organic method to other areas to protect the
land and water from pollution which is very much important for environmental
balance and ensuring food security, he added.

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