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Due to inefficiency of the traditional irrigation system in Bangladesh, as much as 62 per cent of the irrigation water goes wasted. There is no denying that this method has piled up an increasing pressure on both ground and surface water posing a serious threat to ecology. Therefore, ensuring effectiveness in irrigation has become more of a necessity for reducing water misuse alongside minimising agriculture production cost.
It is dissatisfying to note that while many countries have already integrated efficient technologies in their agriculture, we are still lagging far behind them. Yes, Bangladesh of late has made a lot of progress in agriculture, thanks to the government’s agri friendly policies and initiatives including ensuring seeds and fertilizers, but a wasteful irrigation system is harming the country’s agricultural progress in many ways. For instance, the production cost of the commodity is getting high which is pushing farmers into a difficult situation. In this regard, necessary changes should be brought in country’s water distribution and irrigation scheme management system. Experts are of the opinion that due to inept use of water and an increased number of deep tube-wells, water level has dropped remarkably over the past few decades.
It needs no emphasising that by integrating and disseminating new and efficient methods and technologies, irrigation cost can be reduced. In this regard, applying the Alternate Wetting and Drying (AWD) irrigation technology will be efficient as the technology saves huge underground water in irrigating fields. Also as a model of alternative irrigation, ‘Pattukua’ model invented by Bangladesh Agricultural Development Corporation, (BADC) can play an important role, and to this end, BADC should work to encourage and train up the farmers to apply the method. It is time to integrate a comprehensive agricultural development action plan to face the challenges of irrigation and reduce the intensity of ground water depletion. The authorities concerned should work to encourage farmers to cultivate less-water consuming crops and use surface water for irrigation. And to make surface water available in the dry season, rivers and canals should be excavated on a regular basis so that farmers can use the surface water for irrigation even in dry season.