Transplantation of seedlings of Boro rice has got momentum making farmers and farm-laborers busy braving the cold weather and Covid-19 pandemic in Rangpur agriculture region. Officials of the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) said the government has taken ample steps to assist farmers to make the Boro rice farming program a success during the current Rabi season.
“The DAE has fixed a target of producing 22,07,132 tonnes of clean Boro rice (33,10,698 tonnes of paddy) from 5,03,550 hectares of land for the region this season,” Additional Director of the DAE for Rangpur region Agriculturist Md. Mahbubur Rahman said.
The government through the DAE and other agriculture-related organizations and institutions is providing the latest technologies to farmers to further increase rice production at reduced costs.
Meanwhile, farmers have prepared Boro rice seedbeds on 27,116 hectares of land exceeding the fixed target of preparing the same on 23,090 hectares of land by 17.44 percent till Monday in the region. The DAE, Bangladesh Agricultural Development Corporation, Power Development Board, Northern Electricity Supply Company Limited and Rural Electrification Board are ensuring smooth supply of quality seeds, fertilizers and electricity to farmers.
“We are motivating farmers to adopt conservation agriculture (CA)-based technologies like Alternate Wetting and Drying (AWD) irrigation method in farming Boro rice to save water and increase rice output at reduced cost,” Rahman said. Farmers have already transplanted Boro rice seedlings on some 80,000 hectares of land, 15.88 percent against the fixed farming target till Monday.
With little improvement in the cold wave situation during the past couple of days, farmers have accelerated transplantation of Boro rice seedlings on their crop lands to complete the process timely in the region.
“The DAE with other related organizations, Power Development Board and Rural Electrification Board are ensuring smooth supply of seeds, fertilizers and electricity to farmers to ensure smooth Boro rice cultivation this season,” Rahman said.
Farmers are expected to exceed the fixed Boro rice farming target in Rangpur, Gaibandha, Kurigram, Nilphamari and Lalmonirhat districts of the region this season. “As a result of conducting huge motivational activities, farmers are adopting CA-based technologies while farming Boro rice to save irrigation water for increasing rice output at reduced cost,” Rahman added. Senior Coordinator (Agriculture and Environment) of RDRS Bangladesh Agriculturist Mamunur Rashid said transplantation of Boro rice seedlings is nearing completion in the low-lying char lands, beels and riverine areas in the region.
“Farmers are targeting to bring more low-lying char lands, beels and riverine areas under Boro rice farming to complete its harvest before commencement of the next rainy season,” Rashid added. Agriculturist Dr Md Abdul Mazid, who got the Independent Medal 2018 (food security), expressed satisfaction over the ample steps taken by the government to assist farmers in all possible ways for making the Boro rice farming a success in the region.
He suggested farmers for large-scale adoption of AWD irrigation method to get maximum Boro rice yield at reduced cost saving huge underground water and fuel cost for irrigation. Like many other farmers, Ariful Haque Batul of village Najirdigar in Rangapur Sadar said that he has begun transplantation of seedlings on his seven acres of
land to complete the process by February 15 next.