RAJSHAHI, Mar 17 (BSS): Agricultural scientists and researchers said that promotion of wheat-maize cropping pattern is very important to double yield of those crops in the vast Barind tract.
They viewed on farm research conducted on the cropping pattern in different areas in the last couple of years. They said yearly gross return was found as Tk 0.15 million (1.5 lakh) against the cost of Tk 70,320 per hectares of land in the high barind area.
They were addressing a discussion titled "Wheat and Maize Production through using Conservation Agriculture Technology" at Shahapur under Charghat Upazila in the district yesterday. More than 60 farmers both male and female joined the meeting.
On Farm Research Division (OFRD) under Bangladesh Agriculture Research Institute (BARI) organised the training with financial support of 'Sustainable Crop Management Innovation for Drought-prone Barind Region to Face Climate Change Project' and Climate Change Trust Fund.
Chairman of Barind Multipurpose Development Authority Dr Akram Hossain Chowdhury addressed the discussion as chief guest with Dr Mahbubur Rahman, Chief Scientific Officer of OFRD, in the chair. Senior Scientific Officer of OFRD (Barind Centre) Dr Shakhawat Hossain welcomed the participants.
Deputy Director of Department of Agriculture Extension Joynul Abedeen, Director of Wheat Research Centre Dr Naresh Chandra Dev Barma, Principal Scientific Officer Dr Ilias Hossain, Senior Scientific Officer Nur E Alam and Scientific Officer Jahidul Islam also spoke.
Dr Akram Chowdhury says stepping up food production on per unit area using intensive cropping is indeed to feed the increasing population.
He said huge land remain fallow in the high Barind tract after the harvest of transplanted Aman every year and there has been a bright prospect of bringing the land under wheat cultivation followed by maize through providing small irrigation facilities.
Referring to the immense prospect of the crops, he said that if the yield could be enhanced to the expected level through successful expansion of the modern cultivation method among the growers, country's hard-earned foreign currencies would be saved.
Another report adds: Large-scale promotion of less-irrigation consuming crops could be the effective means of mitigating the water-stress condition in Barind area.
Instead of depending on only Irri-Boro farming, importance should be given to the promotion of less-irrigation consuming cereal crops in Barind area to lessen the gradually mounting pressure on underground water.
The observation came in a farmers' field day meeting titled "Promotion of Drought-tolerant Crop Varieties in Barind" at Barshipara village under Godagari Upazila in the district on Thursday.
Speakers referred to various research findings and mentioned that there are enormous scopes of increasing the acreage of various low-water consuming indigenous crops like gram, cumin, sesame, lentil, burley and chickpea in the high Barind tract.
Bangladesh Resource Centre for Indigenous Knowledge (BARCIK) and Farmers Unity jointly organised the meeting where more than 100 farmers both male and female attended. They also visited plots of 14 drought-tolerant crops in the area.
Upazila Chairman Isahaque Ali, Assistant Engineer of Barind Multipurpose Development Authority Syed Zillul Bari, Sub Assistant Agriculture Officer Akbar Ali, Indigenous Leader Dr. Sushen Kumar and BARCIK Regional Coordinator Shahidul Islam spoke on the occasion as resource persons.