More mechanization needed to boost crop production: experts
Author / Source : BSS
DHAKA, Dec 31: Agriculture experts at a programme on Saturday said mechanization in the agriculture sector should be increased to boost yielding of crop and reduce production cost for facing future challenges in the sector. Mechanization is helping increase cropping intensity and thus significantly contributing in increase of land and labour productivity, they added.
Mechanization is gradually progressing in Bangladesh as the farmers are finding benefits in using various machines available for farming operations, the experts said adding cost of tilling land with power tillers is found to be economically advantageous due to higher cost of using animal power.
The ‘paper meet programme’ was held at the Institution of Engineers, Bangladesh (IEB) with chairman of Agriculture Engineering Division, IEB engr Md Abul Quasem Miah in the chair.
RAJUK chairman engr Md Nurul Huda, executive chairman of Bangladesh Agriculture Research Council (BARC) Dr engr Wais Kabir and Prof Dr Md Monjurul Alam of Bangladesh Agriculture University, Mymensingh, among others, addressed the meeting.
Prof Dr ATM Ziauddin of Bangladesh Agriculture University, Mymensingh presented the keynote paper.
Dr Kabir said in recent years, agricultural mechanization has been increased significantly and the increased trend will continue.
Water table is falling sharply in the Barind region of the country, he said adding, “We should invent new machine with latest technology for different environmentally vulnerable areas of the country to face future challenges in the agriculture sector.”
In his keynote, Prof Ziauddin said irrigation is now practically fully mechanized as more than one and a half million diesel and electric driven pumps lift ground and surface water.
Referring to recent survey reports, he said by 2010 about 80 percent of the land was tilled by power tillers and tractors while marginal farmers have equal access to these machines through private contractors services.
A good progress of mechanization has also been made in weeding, fertilizering, spraying, harvesting, threshing, drying and transporting activities, he added.
Future agriculture need is to increase the productivity and profitability of production and post-production agriculture, Prof Ziauddin said stressing diversification of agriculture need for introduction of new machines.
During the sixties to seventies, engr Quasem said mechanized equipment including shallow and deep tube-well was used for irrigation in some areas for where surface water was not available. After then, irrigation in the agriculture sector has been expanded sharply, which helped the country to boost crop production.
According to a minor irrigation survey report, the nearly 52.18 lakh hectares of land were brought under irrigation by using a total of 16,08,661 mechanized and non-mechanized equipment during the Rabi season last year.
A total of 51.27 lakh hectares were brought under irrigation during the Rabi season in 2008-09 of which 40,50,706 hectares were irrigated by groundwater and 10,76,145 hectares through surface water.