Focus on protecting bees for agri output

Dhaka,  Tue,  26 September 2017
Published : 16 May 2017, 22:14:10
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Focus on protecting bees for agri output

FE Report


Experts at a seminar on Tuesday emphasised protecting various pollinators, like - bees, for their vital role in agricultural production.

Keeping this in view they suggested cautious use of chemicals, increasing use of organic pesticides, and conducting more in-depth research to save bees.

The observations were made at a seminar on 'SAU-Syngenta initiative on pollinator safety', jointly organised by Syngenta Bangladesh Limited and Sher-e-Bangla Agricultural University (SAU) at its campus.

SAU Vice Chancellor Professor Dr Kamal Uddin Ahmed attended the seminar as the chief guest.

Speaking on the occasion, Kamal Uddin Ahmed said bees play the most vital role in pollination of plants. On the other hand, they also help produce a complete food - honey.

"The dependency on chemical pesticides needs to be replaced with biological pesticides to protect the bees."

A collaborative approach among the stakeholders, including the government entities concerned, non-governmental agencies, academia, businesses, beekeepers and farmers, is required for improving total food producing ecosystem, he added.

The Syngenta MD said the fate of agricultural produces largely depends on the lives of bees, as they play a significant role in pollination.

Around 87 per cent of the crop species require insect pollination, of which 80 per cent are done by bees. Bees directly contribute to the pollination process of food crops with an estimated economic value of $120-220 billion across the globe every year, he added.

SAU's Entomology Department and Syngenta jointly conducted a research to assess the impact of pesticides use on bees at a mustard field in Tangail during last winter.

Md. Shakhawat Hossain, Professor of Entomology at SAU, presented the keynote paper at the seminar based on the research findings.

He said the natural lifecycle of bees is being interrupted across the globe due to various factors, like - unwise use of pesticides, climate change, rapid urbanisation and deforestation to accommodate population.

Underscoring the need of bees for agricultural produces, he said: "One of every three bites of our everyday diet is produced with the food crops pollinated by bees."

He also recommended science-based risk management for pesticides, greater collaboration among the stakeholders, integrated bee management, and the government's policy support for ensuring health of bees.

DAE's Hanif Mohammad and other speakers underscored the need for conducting more research to assess the impact of pesticides.

They suggested including topics in school-level textbooks for making the students aware of the importance of bees.

They also recommended providing comprehensive instructions on pesticide containers in Bangla for helping the farmers.

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