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.