Harmful pesticides stage comeback

Organic farming now a far cry in 62 Jashore villages

Published : 04 Feb 2022 09:14 PM

The farmers of 62 villages of Jashore Sadar and Bagherpara upazlas of Jashore and Salikha and Magura Sadar upazilas started producing their crops under environment-friendly organic farming about 40 years back and the entire area came under the farming in 1990s. But the noble activities were almost halted and now it is quite harmful for human health as well as the soil. The people have been consuming the vegetables produced with huge pesticides and other chemicals. 

Ayub Hosssain, a renowned farmers’ organizer was leading the activities. Within a few years the farmers started sending their crops, especially, vegetables to Dhaka, Chattogram, Sylhet, Barishal, Faridpur, Cumilla and some other  districts as there was good demand of vegetables of Jashore when Jashore and Magura were playing role in organic farming. It was just a symbol of green revolution of the farmers. Suddenly the scenario was changed when the leader of the movement Ayub Hossain belongs to Kotorakandi village in Bagherpara of Jashore, had died due to physical complications in mid January of 2016. 

When the Correspondent paid a visit to the croplands at Bandabila, Kotorakandi, Nimta and some other villages on Monday, he witnessed that the farmers have been applying chemical pesticides and fertilizer haphazard. There were no rules and regulations for them.  When they asked, said once the department of agriculture extension (DAE) was active and supporting them much. When Ayub Hossain had died, the activities came to a standstill.  Further, the supply of pheromone trap, a vital ingredient in controlling pest and harmful insects was not available in the locality as it required.

The farmers said they are refrained from applying the chemical pesticides and fertilizer for the crops they consume themselves, while applying adequate quantity for the commercial farming to protect the same form pests and diseases.  

They said DAE, Bangladesh Agriculture Research Institute (BARI), Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI) Wheat Research Institute, Soil Resource Development Institute (SRDI), International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), Bangladesh Agriculture Research Council (BARC), Bangladesh Jute Research Institute (BJRI) and some other national and international agriculture institutions came forward to make the organic farming activities with their direct and indirect support. 

Renowned agro scientists Dr Kazi Badruddiza and Dr Gul Hossain were the path finders of the activities. Eminent agro scientists, immediately retired director general of BARI Dr Nazirul Islam and Dr Nurul Alam provided their support all along. DAE’s compost manure production activities were an eye-catching action for the farmers during the time. But the entire activities squeezed after death of Ayub Hossain, they said.  

DAE upazila agriculture officer Ruhul Amin when contacted said there was abandoned supply of the pheromone traps in the local markets, while the farmers were not practicing the same. In the other hand, deputy director in Jashore Badal Chandra Biswas expressed the opposite words. He said it might be available in remote areas as well.  

He said the use of harmful chemical fertilizers and pesticides should be controlled strictly, while eco-friendly and organic pesticides and fertilizer, especially, compost manures including vermi- compost should be available at farmers’ level with government initiatives. 

DAE deputy director said the farmers always consider their financial benefit. They should be motivated under the continuous process for pest-free crops, so that the people could enjoy the organic and healthy foods like vegetables.