Category Archives: Agriculture/Agricultural Security/Agro-Products/Cash Crops

AWD irrigation system saves Tk 5000 in paddy cultivation on one hectare

AWD irrigation system saves Tk 5000 in paddy cultivation on one hectare

DHAKA, June 5 (BSS)- Irrigation Experts said that Alternate Wetting and Drying (AWD) irrigation system applied in 91 upazilas in the country this year saved about Taka 5,000 in paddy cultivation on per hectare of land.

The National Agriculture Technology Project (NATP) under Agriculture Ministry is applying the AWD irrigation system following a survey revealed by the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), they said.

“It’s a good news that the AWD irrigation system applied in 91 upzilas of the country in the fiscal 2011-12 has saved a substantial amount of irrigation cost involved in paddy cultivation on one hectare of land, said Director of NATP Nurul Islam.

He said the amount is more than double the IRRI estimated irrigation cost saving of Taka 1,765 three years back and more upazilas of the country would be brought under NATP to apply AWD irrigation in the coming years.

Sources in NATP said the IRRI has developed a technology able to save up to 30 per cent of water use in the production of rice without compromising yields.

Called AWD for Alternate Wetting and Drying, this intermittent irrigation technology is the result of an international partnership of China, the Philippines and Bangladesh, through the Irrigated Rice Research Consortium (IRRC), they said adding financed by the SDC since 1997, IRRC facilitates cross-country learning and diffusion of new rice production technologies in Asia.

The AWD technology is being applied in paddy cultivation since fiscal 2008-2009 after getting a go ahead signal from IRRI.

The IRRI survey revealed that the cost savings in paddy cultivation is Taka 1,765 in per hectare. It (IRRI) showed that an estimated 3,000 to 5,000 litres of water is required to produce one kilogram of rice.

Nurul Islam said the AWD technology was applied in 91 upazilas of the country for paddy cultivation in the fiscal 2011- 12. The result showed that on an average irrigation cost savings stood at Taka 5,000 in per hectare of land, which is more than double of the IRRI estimated cost.

NATP director said the AWD irrigation system saved 32 per cent water on an average in one hectare of land in paddy cultivation while it (AWD) saved power cost by about 30 per cent and production increased to 1.6 metric tonnes per hectare.

The IRRI research has proven that introduction of AWD irrigation could save water in paddy cultivation about 15-30 per cent which would ultimately save cultivation cost by at least Taka 1,765 per hectare of land.

Describing the process of cultivation, Head of Agriculture Engineering Department Dr. Asgar Ali said starting from about 15 days after transplanting, the irrigation would have to continue until the water table goes 20 cm below the ground level.

Digging of a 20 cm deep hole in the rice field and installing a perforated plastic pipe to monitor the level of the water table are required in each irrigation field, said Dr. Asgar.

He said the practice should continue until flowering starts and keeps 2-4 cm standing water from flowering to dough stage. The savings of irrigation water will have impact on environment. This may also reduce arsenic contamination in rice grain and straw, Asgar Ali said.


Grape farming growing in N-region

Grape farming growing in N-region
Our Correspondent

RANGPUR, June 3: Cultivation of grapes is gradually gaining popularity in the northern region and the growers are earning handsomely by selling their products.

According to the agriculturists, the soil and climate of Dinajpur, Rangpur, Thakurgaon and Panchagarh are suitable for grape cultivation.

Presently, grapes are cultivated only in a limited extent due to non-availability of required seeds and other facilities.

The local growers say that proper training and financial and technical assistances can pave way for large-scale commercial production of grapes across the region.

Mominur Rahman, a grower at Mithapukur told FE he has been cultivating grape in his homestead for several years and selling those at a good price.

Growers say much of the grapes produced in the areas belong to the average grade variety called ‘Jatka’.

They also cultivate a number of high-grade varieties like Black Ruby, Cardinal, Pearl, Blue etc.

These local grapes are comparatively sweeter in taste than the imported ones, they claimed.

Non-formal education underscored

BSS report says: Discussants at a views-sharing meeting last evening stressed the need for continuation of the non-formal education programme for developing human resources as well as accelerating uplifts in the rural areas.

They were addressing the meeting jointly organised by Panchagarh district administration, Non- formal Education Bureau and Astha Social Development Organisation (ASDO) at the conference room of Panchagarh Deputy Commissioner.

Acting Secretary of the Ministry of Primary and Mass Education MM Neaz Uddin attended the meeting as the chief guest with Panchagarh Deputy Commissioner Md Tofazzal Hossain in the chair.

Director General of Non-formal Education Bureau Md Alauddin, Project Director of Post Literacy & Continuing Education for Human Development (PLCEHD-2) MA Mannan Hawlader and Executive Director of ASDO Nahid Parveen addressed as the special guests.

District level government and NGO officials and executives, teachers, public representatives, socio-cultural and political leaders and activists, professionals, journalists and local elite took part in the meeting.

Earlier, the acting secretary inaugurated Doluapara Non- formal Education Centre in Sadar upazila as part of official launching of educational activities at all 170 such centres in five upazilas in Panchagarh.

Thirty females and thirty males between 15 to 45 years of age have been attending the non-formal education and vocational training programmes in separate batches and shifts at each centre every day. Classes are being held both in morning and evening shifts.

As per agreement with the government, ASDO has been conducting non-formal education and vocational training on sewing, repairing shallow machines, bicycles and rickshaw vans, electric cable wiring and livestock in these centres.

Latest agri-technologies stressed for increasing paddy yield

Latest agri-technologies stressed for increasing paddy yield

RANGPUR, June 1 (BSS) – Agriculture experts at farmers’ field day and crop cutting ceremony yesterday stressed for adopting the latest agri- technologies to increase paddy production at lower costs in ensuring food security.

For example, transplantation of 35-40 day old seedlings of BRRI Dhan 29 in straight lines along with adoption of guti urea could raise the average yield rate of this variety paddy to 80-maund per acre in place of 60-maund in general now, they said.

The Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) organised the farmers’ filed day and crop cutting ceremony in a paddy field in village Purbo Shukhdebpur under Hamidpur union in Parbotipur upazila of Dinajpur.

Parbotipur upazila chairman Hafizul Islam Pramanik attended as the chief guest while Agriculture Officer AFM Rawshan Kabir and Polashbari union chairman Mofakkharul Islam were present as the special guests with farmer Mujib Uddin Sarker in the chair.

Sub-assistant Agriculture Officer Abdur Rahman, Lecturer Anwar Hossain, Farmers Rakibul Karim Dulal, Azgar Ali and Farhad Hossain also spoke.

The speakers suggested farmers for adopting the proven and latest agri-technologies in turning crop cultivation more profitable through increasing productions, improving soil health, environment and ecology amid climate change impacts.

They stressed for successful adoption of the latest agri- technologies that have been showing excellent results including more crop productions at reduced costs with minimum disturbances of the soil textures.

They emphasised the need for GO-NGO-Private collaborations to reduce crop production costs significantly and increase productivity further to improve the farm household incomes through raising crop intensification adopting latest technologies.

Adoption of the latest agri- technologies will help saving water, improving weeds, nutrient and fertilizer managements, escaping drought and saving production costs by reducing labours, fuel, irrigation and reduction of crop durations, they said.

EBL Nobodoy to finance agro industry

EBL Nobodoy to finance agro industry
Author / Source : STAFF REPORTER

Dhaka, Jan 7: Eastern Bank Ltd (EBL) has launched a new lending product titled ‘EBL Nobodoy’ to finance the emerging agro-based industries of the country.

Dr. Atiur Rahman, governor Bangladesh Bank, launched the ‘EBL Nobodoy’ at Cox’s Bazar on Friday, says a press release. Ali Reza Iftekhar, managing director and  chief executive officer, Md. Khurshed Alam, head of SME business, Anwar Faruq Talukder, head of small business, Ziaul Karim , head of marketing of EBL, and Mrinal Sircar, programme manager, and Taif Ul Islam,  of South Asian Enterprise Development Facility-IFC were also present.

Launching this innovative financial product, Bangladesh Bank governor Dr Atiur Rahman encouraged other financial institutions to create need-based initiatives that promote climate-change mitigation projects. “Farmers being able to generate their own electricity will also help reduce the diesel subsidy being provided by the government,” he added. Ali Reza Iftekhar, managing director of Eastern Bank Ltd, said “Our bank is dedicated to sustainable development. Sustainability is the cornerstone of everything that we do. We are committed to finance businesses that invest in green technology and will continue exploring innovative ways aiming at improving local communities and the environment.”“EBL NOBODOY” is targeted to facilitate finance to the very emerging agro-based industries where million numbers of rural entrepreneurs are working. Target market is also thirty six agro based priority sectors including bio pesticide, bio gas and power generating industry from husk of rice, poultry dung and cow dung etc.An entrepreneur can avail up to Tk 1 million loan without any collateral security. For above Tk one million and upto Tk seven million 30-50 per cent of the availed loan amount as FDR to be provided. The loan is repayable in equal monthly instalments within maximum five years period. Interest rate is 10 per cent per anum. EBL has taken a special project in association with South Asian Enterprise Development Facility, managed by IFC to provide finance to poultry farmers under ‘EBL Nobodoy’ for converting poultry waste to bio-gas and electricity.

NRBs-owned firm to go for commercial rice production in Uganda

NRBs-owned firm to go for commercial rice production in Uganda

Author / Source : STAFF REPORTER

DHAKA, JAN 5: Farland Investment Ltd, a UK- based private land and asset investment and management company which is owned by non-resident Bangladeshis (NRBs), is going to commence its first phase commercial rice production in Uganda by March. “We have already started seed testing activities two weeks ago and hope to go for commercial rice cultivation on 400 hectares of land in Uganda, taken on lease, by March,” Md Sirajul Islam Jowardhar, Farland’s managing director,  told a press conference at Ruposhi Bangla Hotel in the city on Thursday.

As part of the company’s project Phase-1, it signed a joint venture agreement for10,000 hectares of farmland with Kolir Sub Country of Bukedea District in Uganda on October 21, 2011.

The land has been acquired on lease for a 49-year term, with a renewal right for another 49 years.

The company will broaden their cultivation areas step-by-step enabling it to cultivate the 10,000 hectares of land by 2015, Jowardhar said.

“The project will be the largest commercial agriculture project in East Africa. After its implementation, approximately 80,000-90,000 tonnes of rice will be produced a year, of which nearly 43,000 tonnes milled rice with good value addition are to be exported to Bangladesh,” he said.

The estimated capital investment for Phase-1 is over US$ 22 million, with a further productive investment of $ 9 million, he said, adding that investment return projected in 4 years is 32 per cent, the company’s top official said.

As a foreign investment company, he said, the investment will be guaranteed by the government of Uganda through the protocols of the internationally recognised Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency.

In addition, he said, the project will also create employment opportunities for Bangladeshi skilled farmers, as 1500 Bangladeshis will be employed in the project with settlement rights in Uganda, along with their families as permanent residents.

“Uganda is developing rapidly and our workers will be able to benefit from other business opportunities in the country,” Jowardhar said.

The company will provide US$ 200 remuneration per month to each worker along with accommodation facility, medical support and education to their family members, Jowardhar said.

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Robi brings haat-bazaar service

Robi brings haat-bazaar service
Business Report

Robi Axiata Ltd has introduced a one-of-a-kind agriculture based service call Robi Haat-bazaar. The service is intended to help agricultural marketing, which is an essential tool for uninterrupted supply of products to the consumers. Farmers in the rural areas can achieve potential benefit from their produce if they have access to the markets in which they sell their harvest.

‘Robi Haat-Bazaar’ is an integration of two important services; ‘Bazaar Dor’ and ‘Krishibazaar’.

Char lands bring fortune for farmers in Rajshahi

Char lands bring fortune for farmers in Rajshahi
Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha . Rajshahi

Chars emerging in the River Padma are bringing fortune for many farmers in Paba, Godagari and Bagha upazilas in Rajshahi.

Hundreds of farmers in the district are now very happy as the chars mostly deposits of alluvial silt have brought them the opportunity for cultivation of various crops and vegetables.

For over two decades, the farmers were planting trees like mango, jujube and banana on those char lands. But, now, they are cultivating crops including paddy, wheat, lentil, sesame, mustard and vegetables, Pepper, onion, garlic, brinjal, cabbage, tomato and potato.

Besides, this year they are preparing the char lands for boro cultivation.

While visiting some of the char villages like Majardiar, Khidirpur, Khanpur, Lotabona and Shayampur under Paba upazila and Char Asariadaha under Godagari upazila this correspondent found that the river-bed of Padma dried up with only a narrow pool and several pockets of shallow ditches here and there.

Farmers of char villages said char lands got more alluvial sediments during the last monsoon, which encouraged them to cultivate boro paddy.

Matiur Rahman of village Majardiar wants to cultivate boro on six bighas of land while Adadul Islam Ali on three bighas, Ajahar Ali and Abdur Razzaque on five bighas of land respectively and Mushabar Ali on 10 bighas.

Golam Mostafa, farmer of Char Asariadaha, said they wanted to cultivate boro but they were facing problems because of not having any fertiliser or fuel dealer in the char villages.

‘Moreover, carrying fertiliser, fuel and other commodities to the Char land is troublesome due to lack of vehicle travels over those dried and sub-merged lands. We have to carry them on our shoulders,’ he said.

‘In the previous years, it was not possible to plant trees and cultivates crops and vegetables on char lands. But the farmers have now started cultivating crops there which have changed the face of charlands,’ Golam Mostafa added.

According to Paba Upazila Agriculture office sources, last year farmers of Char Majhardiar cultivated boro on around 1,500 hectares and char farmers of Khidirpur cultivated on 3,500 hectares.

Farmers demanded dealers for fuel and fertiliser on char areas to save their extra traveling cost and time for collecting them from city.

‘We couldn’t yet appoint any fertiliser and fuel dealer in the char areas as no person showed interest in obtaining dealership,’ said Saleh Ahmed, upazila agriculture officer of Paba.

Besides, he said, monitoring of the sales of fuel and fertiliser was very hard in char areas and chances of smuggling out of fuel and smuggling in of substandard fertilisers were always there. Nazrul Islam, chairman of Haripur Union, said that the farmers had already informed him of the fertiliser and fuel problem.

He had already discussed the issue with the authority concerned so that the problem of char people could be solved at the earliest, Nazrul Islam said.