Tag Archives: poverty

Biogas plants’ benefit visible in Rajshahi rural, sub-urban areas

http://www1.bssnews.net/newsDetails.php?cat=0&id=255765&date=2012-06-10

Biogas plants’ benefit visible in Rajshahi rural, sub-urban areas
By Dr Aynal Haque

RAJSHAHI, June 10 (BSS)- Low-cost biogas, an alternative fuel for cooking, is increasingly getting popular among the people at different rural areas even in outskirts of the metropolis for the last couple of years.

Biogas is not only used as fuel for cooking foods but the slurry, main effluent of the biogas plant, is also being used as organic fertiliser in the farming fields for boosting its production and in the ponds as fish meal.

The people, who never thought of having gas for cooking rice in their remote areas, are now regularly using for their domestic purposes like civic life. Currently, more than 400 rural families are using biogas instead of firewood to cook foods and to boost farm and fish production.

The Premtaly and some of its adjacent localities under Godagari Upazila has been identified as biogas village, local sources said.

Most of the users expressed their satisfaction over the biogas plants as they find this alternative fuel much cheaper than firewood and any other fossil fuel.

Marzina Begum, 45, a housewife of Bijoynagar area under Godagari upazila, has been using the biogas for the last one and half years. She cooks meal for her seven-member family twice everyday.

She said the use of the price hiked kerosene and LPG cylinder has become unbearable in the rural life.

In that case, use of biogas is very comfortable and it has no negative impact to the environment, she clarified.

“In addition to cooking meals of our eight-member family, I have been running a cow-fattening farm with 26 cattle and seed production project on 45-bigha of lands commercially with my two biogas plants simultaneously for the last one and half years,” said Aminul Islam Fatik of Bidirpur area.

He said that he had set up a 2.5 square-meter plant with his own initiative in 2007 for meeting up his domestic fuel demands.

Afterwards, he installed another 4.8 square-meter plant in 2010 for fulfilling his domestic and commercial demands through using the natural resources especially eco-friendly biogas and slurry.

Sabrina Reja, 30, wife of Selim Reja, of Premtali Dumuria, described her practice while she was cooking their midday meal in her double-burner oven. She said all of their daily family cooking is being done with the biogas excepting the winter season.

She added that the biogas is very effective for the cooking meal for any farming family as it requires more utensils and needs additional workforce for cleaning of those regularly.

But, the biogas has no smoke and black spot on the utensils, so there is no extra burden of cleaning and washing.

“We have eight cattleheads and all of their dung are being used in our plant,” she said adding, “We cook rice bran of four kilograms for the cattleheads besides three-time meals for our seven-member family everyday and regularly with the gas”.

In the process, she said there is no extra cost to feed the cows excepting the rice straw.

Referring to multifarious problems relating to cooking in conventional earthen stove Sabrina Reja attributed that the biogas cooking contributes a lot to remove the obstacles by large.

By dint of the biogas cooking, she said their life style has been changed at a greater extent.

Women members of the family are being benefited more in the new system as most of them are liable to manage the rural family especially cooking together with cleaning and washing the utensils.

Murshalin of Premtali Khetur area said the use of biogas has brought a new dimension in his family.

As a whole, the plant has ensured security of the domestic consumption of fuel.

“In addition to cooking meals of our nine-member family, I have been running a tea stall at Premtaly Bazar where around 80 cups of tea are sold everyday and all the tea-water are being boiled by our own biogas,” said Shariful Islam of Kathalbaria.

‘We never thought of having such type of privilege in our village. But biogas has made things happen, by which we save at least Taka 900 per month as the water boiling purpose.’

Not only that, the harvested bioslurry is being used in 10 bigha of fish culture ponds as primary feeds for boosting fish production.

“Earlier, we had to use the cow-dung as cooking fuel, but now using those in the biogas plant by which, we are getting diversified benefits,” said Rafiqul Islam of Shekherpara adding that the dried slurry is also being used as cooking fuel.

He said a family of five to six members can easily cook their foods and fulfill the demands of organic fertiliser of his farming field and fish culture ponds from one plant.

Various vegetables and fruits especially banana are being grown well on surrounding grounds of the slurry dumping ditch without any extra fertiliser and care, he viewed.

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Bangladesh’s per capita income rises to $848

http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=236919

Bangladesh’s per capita income rises to $848
Rejaul Karim Byron

Bangladesh’s per capita income went up to $848 in the current fiscal year from $816 last year, but is still way short of the $1,006 needed to pull the country up to the middle-income bracket.

The nation aims to reach the middle income country category by 2021, according to government’s perspective plan.

The required per capita income at that time would be $1,300, meaning a growth rate of 7-5 percent to 8 percent is needed every fiscal year, said Zahid Hussain, senior economist of the World Bank.

Bangladesh managed a growth rate of 6.3 percent against a target of 7 percent this fiscal year, according to provisional data from Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS).

The previous year the growth rate was 6.71 percent, signifying the country went backwards with respect to its target of graduating to a middle income country status.

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

http://www1.bssnews.net/newsDetails.php?cat=2&id=254454&date=2012-06-05

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

http://www.thefinancialexpress-bd.com/more.php?news_id=131721&date=2012-06-04

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.