RAJSHAHI, March 18, 2023 (BSS)- Substantial promotion of modern farm machinery can be the crucial means of making the agricultural products more profitable coupled with making the farmers happy.
To this end, the grassroots farmers are gradually being habituated and accustomed to the need-based machinery and technologies through diversified interventions so that they can derive total benefits out of it.
Farm machinery experts and other agricultural scientists made the observation while addressing the closing ceremony of a two-day farmers training on machinery developed by Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI) at Banga village under Tanore Upazila of the district today.
Farm Machinery and Postharvest Process Engineering (FMPE) Division of BARI organized the training supported by the Farm Machinery Technology Development for Profitable Crop Production (FMDP) project.
FMDP Project Director Dr Nurul Amin, Principal Scientific Officer of On Farm Research Division (Barind Centre) Dr. Jagadish Chandra Barman and its Senior Scientific Officer Dr Shakhawat Hossain addressed the session as resource persons.
FMPE Senior Scientific Officer Dr Arshadul Hoque gave an illustration on the aspects of successful promotion of farm machinery in terms of yielding more crops.
Around 40 farmers from different areas joined the training and they were given practical knowledge on handling, repairing and maintaining various types of machinery, including seeder, harvester, thresher, cleaner and oil extractor.
Dr Nurul Amin said farmers in the area are gradually being habituated to cost-effective and mechanized farming and harvesting.
Large-scale promotion of mechanization could be the effective means of mitigating the problems of labour shortage, slow pace and high expensive potato harvesting.
There is a huge labour shortage in the potato growing area during peak harvesting period. Manual potato harvesting is a slow, time consuming and costly operation.
"Mechanized potato harvester saves cost and time besides mitigating labour shortage," said Dr Arshadul Hoque, adding FMPE Division has developed the power tiller driven potato harvester.
He said more area coverage within a short period of time, reducing labour dependency, escaping bad weather and quick potato harvesting, cost reduction by 60 percent and profitable potato production are the major salient features of the harvester.
Dr Hoque also said that potato harvester meets up the labour shortage through speeding up the harvesting process. It can harvest potatoes from around 10-12 bighas of land on average a day depending upon the operator's skill.