Modern technology use can cut groundwater extraction: experts


RAJSHAHI, Jan 27, 2020 (BSS) – Agricultural experts at a meeting have stressed promotion of modern irrigation technologies to minimize the dependence of groundwater in irrigation as it would not hamper crop production in the Barind region.

They told the meeting that Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI) has developed various improved water-saving irrigation technologies like alternate furrow and drip-fertigation.

Farmers should be encouraged to use these technologies instead of the conventional ones to lessen the gradually mounting pressure on groundwater resources in the water-stressed barind area, they told at the daylong farmers’ field-day meeting.

Irrigation and Water Management Division in BARI organized the meeting styled “Demonstration of Water-saving Irrigation Technologies in Crop Production at Farmers level” under Groundwater Resource Management Project held at Geolchandpur village under Tanore Upazila in the district yesterday.

Bangladesh Agriculture Research Council (BARC) supported the meeting attended by around 120 grassroots farmers both male and female who were given practical ideas about the technologies and using process.

They were also imparted training on how to enhance crop production through using deficit irrigation side by side with reducing use of water and fertilizer in farming fields.

BARI’s On Farm Research Division (OFRD) is implementing the project in the barind area with the main thrust of familiarizing the farmers with the water-saving irrigation technologies so that they can derive total benefits of those.

BARC Member Dr Sultan Ahmed and its Chief Scientific Officer Dr Nazmun Nahar Karim and Project Consultant Dr Ahmed Ali Hassan addressed the meeting as resource persons while Principal Investigator of the project Sujit Kumar Biswash was in the chair.

OFRD Principal Scientific Officers Dr Mazharuhl Anwar and Dr Jagadish Chandra Barman and Senior Scientific Officer Dr Shakhawat Hossain, Upazila Agriculture Officer Shamimul Haque and Assistant Engineer of Barind Multipurpose Development Authority Shariful Islam also spoke disseminating their expertises on the issue.

Responding to a question Dr Sultan Ahmed told the audience that around 35 to 40 percent irrigation water can be saved through using only alternate furrow technology without hampering any crop yield.

This technology is appropriate for irrigating various line-sowing cash crops like tomato, maize, potato and sunflower.

Replying to another query Dr Ahmed categorically mentioned that around 17,000 crore litres of groundwater can be saved through using this technology in potato farming only in the Tanore Upazila every season.

On the other hand, 28 to 30 percent crop yield can be enhanced after saving 45 to 48 percent irrigation water through applying the drip-fertigation method than that of the conventional ones.

Other scientists mentioned that if the water-saving irrigation technologies were made popular among the farmers in the barind area any sort of disaster can be averted through reduction of groundwater extraction.

Besides, the farmers, as a whole, can improve their living and livelihood condition through boosting their farming outputs.