Herbicide can save Tk 7,000-cr crops annually: expert


RANGPUR, Aug 4, 2018 (BSS) – A proper application of herbicides adopting
recommended weed management methods could substantially increase food
production along with saving huge crops worth over Taka 7,000 crore annually.

“An effective weed management side by side with adopting conservation
agriculture technologies remarkably increases crop output,” said noted
Agriculturist Dr. Md. Abdul Mazid, who got the Independence Award 2018 Medal
(food security) this year.

While talking to BSS, Dr Mazid, a former chief scientific officer and head
of agronomy division of Bangladesh Rice Research Institute, made these
observations citing various national and international level research

In Bangladesh, he said unrestricted growth of weeds causes damage up to 37
percent crop yields with 32.2 percent loss in food crops, including 41.3
percent in cereals, 31.2 percent in pulses, 40.8 percent in oilseeds and 39.2
percent in fibre crops.

“We can save huge crops by improving knowledge of extension officers and
herbicide traders to disseminate latest climate smart technologies to the
farmers in group approach to effective weed management methods and safer use
of herbicides,” he said.

Dr Mazid also discussed wide range of topics on the extent of crop damage
due to the growth of different kinds of weeds depending on land types and
seasons and topographical locations of the crop zone.

He discussed scientific knowledge about classification of weeds, effective
weed control methods, herbicide mode of action, herbicide formulation and its
safer use, rate and timing of application, calibration of sprayers, nozzle
types and determination of spray volume.

The farmers would get maximum benefits by applying herbicides at pre-
emergence and post emergence periods of weeds adopting the cropping system-
based weed management methods both in dry-land farming and wet-land farming
of crops.

Dr Mazid put importance on the herbicide volume to be sprayed for specific
land area, utility of herbicide label, Material Safety Data Sheet, safety
requirements in spraying herbicides and personal protective equipments
required in spraying process.

“The farmers must adopt the effective ways of using herbicides for weed
control. Otherwise it might be dangerous for human and soil health,” he said
suggesting the use of recommended rate and safer use of herbicides.

Dr Mazid preferred popularizing the conservation agriculture technologies
for ensuring an effective weed management in the crop fields to get increased
yield rates.

“The weeds should be controlled safely and timely using herbicides despite
labour shortage during peak period to increase crop production at a reduced
cost as the depth of knowledge about herbicide is now at basic level in
Bangladesh,” he added.

He cautioned repeated use of same herbicides on the same piece of land
every year might result in the development of herbicide resistant weeds.

“Use of safe herbicides has become a need of the time globally to increase
crop output for attaining sustainability in agriculture and ensuring national
food security amid adverse impacts of climate change,” Dr Mazid said.