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Farmers training needed for promoting water-saving crops

RAJSHAHI, Feb 8, 2018 (BSS)- Speakers at a discussion mentioned farmers in the Hard Barind area need time-fitting training and motivation on how to cultivate more water-saving crops to lessen the existing pressure on groundwater.

They viewed there is no alternative to encourage the farmers to promote various cereal crops and vegetables instead of only Irri-boro paddy on the dried land to face the water stress condition as its groundwater table has gradually been declining.

They were addressing a daylong farmers training styled "Production of Quality Wheat and Paddy Seed and Cultivation of Less Water Consuming Crops".

Barind Multipurpose Development Authority (BMDA) organized the event at its Naogaon Zone office in association with its 'Quality Seed Production, Distribution and Farmers Training for Crops Production' project yesterday.

BMDA Chairman Dr Akram Hossain Chowdhury and Deputy Manager (Agriculture) ATM Rafiqul Islam addressed the training sessions as chief and special guests respectively with Executive Engineer Shariful Islam in the chair.

Rafiqul Islam said more than 600 farmers will be brought under the training programme for cultivation of less-water consuming crops like cereal, pulses, oilseed, tuber and vegetables in the preliminary stage.

He said around 3,500 liters of water is needed to produce one kilogramme of paddy as irrigation. But seven bighas of wheat could be cultivated with the same irrigation water.

Dr Akram Chowdhury suggested development and dissemination of appropriate farm machinery like power tiller operated seeder, strip till and zero till, bed planter, reaper and thresher to promote the less-water consuming crops especially wheat successfully.

He views the continuous paddy farming in the barind tract will face an acute crisis. So, more importance should be given on the crops which need less-irrigation.

On the other hand, he said the agriculture system of the drought-prone barind tract has started facing problems due to multifarious reasons including the adverse impact of climate change.

So, there is no way but to adopt modern technologies to protect the farming practice from further deteriorating condition after addressing the constraints to ensure food security of the nation in the days ahead.

Dr Chowdhury says BMDA has been working relentlessly to protect the farming system from all sorts of adverse situation.