Use of chemical pesticides by local farmers has been declining gradually thanks to rising consciousness among farmers and consumers on chemical contamination, the government data revealed.
Some initiatives, taken by the government, have also helped to minimise use of such chemicals in the country, hazardous for human health, experts said.
Statistical Pocket Book 2015 of Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) revealed that the farmers and gardeners used above 35,801 tonnes of chemical insecticides, fungicides, rodenticides and miticides in fiscal year (FY) 2013-14.
They used these chemicals in rice, maize, wheat, vegetable, fruit and other crop-fields to save their produces.
The use of pesticide was 45,172 tonnes in FY 09, when fungicide, insecticide and herbicide were majors, according to BBS data.
Prof Md Kamrul Hasan of Department of Horticulture, Bangladesh Agricultural University, said the use of pesticides has been declining following increased awareness among the farmers and consumers about these.
Besides, a declining trend in use of adulterated pesticides also helped to reduce the use of chemicals.
He said in Bangladesh presently there are 359 and 5,359 registered pesticides with common names and trade names respectively. Various human-induced food adulterations during farm and industrial production and marketing periods exist in the country.
"One of the serious human-induced safety concerns is the presence of pesticide residues in foods, which is possibly resulted from adulterated and unsystematic use of pesticides," he added.
Former Director General of Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) Md Hamidur Rahman said various initiatives of the government, like - Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and Integrated Farm Management Component (IFMC) etc, have helped to minimise use of chemical pesticides.
Use of insecticides in rice-fields has been reduced nearly by 30 per cent in a decade by adopting IPM method.
He also said both the government and the private sector are now appropriating Good Agriculture Practice (GAP) method to produce quality foods, which can ensure access to safe foods for local consumers. DAE has introduced GAP certification, which can help to increase export of food.
"If we want to grab a good portion of the global vegetable and fruit market, we have to minimise use of chemical pesticides," he opined.
Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI) Vegetable Division Scientist Dr Md Najim Uddin said crop output can be enhanced and production cost can be cut by adopting farming methods without chemical fertilisers and pesticides.
"Our study, conducted between 2006 and 2011, showed that by applying bio-farming method, the farmers can grow 16-18 varieties of vegetables on one bigha (33 decimal) of land, and can earn at least Tk 45,000 in winter season alone."
"Earlier, we thought that production through bio-farming could be lower, which was wrong. By applying the organic method the farmers even got higher-producing crops and vegetables, like - cabbage, cauliflower, beet, red amaranth, tomato and brinjal etc," he also said.
The farmers have also succeeded in growing earlier variety of paddy in 80 days by growing both local varieties and modern ones, such as BR-57, in the same land.
Dr Najim Uddin further said BARI-developed natural manure, compost, useful beetle and pesticides were used in this method.
"Pesticides were made from the liquefied fruits of neem, mahogany, pitraj, and tamarind trees," he added.
DAE's primary data showed that farmers and traders used above 34,200 tonnes of pesticides worth Tk 18.0 billion in FY 16.