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Saeed Hossain Shuvro
Fertility and production capacity of the soil in the northern region have reduced due to frequent crop cultivation in the same land, say experts in a study. Moreover, unplanned use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers is increasing the acidity in soil thus the production cost of the farmers is increasing. The cultivable lands in Dinajpur and Tangail are marginally declining, according to the recent study.
Khondoker Taheratul Hosna, Scientific Officer at Soil Resource Development Institute said, “Due to lack of planned and concerted initiatives and management, no effective method for resolving this crisis has been found.”
Already, almost 100 percent of the total arable lands in Rangpur, Nilphamari, Kurigram, Lalmonirhat and Gaibandha districts, 52 percent of the total volume of Dinajpur have been declined. Authorities concerned state that to meet the demand of the increasing population, farmers are harvesting two, three or four crops a year in the same land.
Under the Soil Resource Development Institute, Rangpur division, Nilphamari, Kurigram, Lalmonirhat and Gaibandha are incorporated. These districts include the Teesta Floodplain, the active Teesta Floodplain and Barind Tract.
Moreover, farmers are not using fertilizer at balanced level and the use of organic fertilizers is inadequate. Consequently, the fertility and production capacity of the soil is decreasing day by day, according to sources.
Experts asserted that approximately 9, 50,374 hectares of land in the northern region of the country are highly acidic (pH value below 4.5). In acidic soil, the availability of phosphorus, calcium, magnesium and molybdenum decreases the amount of aluminium, manganese and iron increases. As a result, the growth of crops gets hampered, and yield decreases, said experts.
Md Abdul Halim, an agriculture expert, Soil Resources Development Institute said, “To reduce the acidity in the soil, farmers need to apply 3-4 kg Dalochun on per decimal (Shotangsho). Currently, the market price of Dalchuna is 8 to 10 rupees per kg.”
“Tangail district has a total cultivable land of 97,750 hectares in the total area of 1,07,364 hectares. Of these, 65.259 hectares have high levels of acidity in the soil and 18,653 hectares of soil have medium acidity,” added Utpal Kumar, an SSO agriculturalist.
According to the Soil Resource Development, around 3.7 million hectares of land is facing phosphorus deficiency, while 2.72 million hectares lack potassium, 3.31 million hectares lack sulphur, 275,000 hectares lack zinc, 2.49 million hectares lack boron, and 300,000 hectares lacking both calcium and magnesium.