Category: Agricluture

Environment Friendly Light-trap Technology to Help Farmers

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Light-trap, an environment-friendly method to detect harmful insects is helping hundreds of farmers in different areas of the district during this ongoing aman season. The farmers are getting benefits from this technology and they are very enthusiastic to use it, said Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) officials here.

The  DAE sources said, they have taken the  programme throughout the district with a view to detecting the harmful insects in the aman fields and  to use the insecticides accordingly to save the crops. The very low-cost  technology is also helpful for the ecological balance, said the officials.

In many cases, the farmers use insecticides indiscriminately without knowing about the proper insecticides to kill the harmful insects and  the farmers have to cost more money, said the officials adding “indiscriminate use of pesticides also kill the useful insects, endangering the environment”.

Around 2625 light-traps have already been set up at 525 blocks in 12 upazilas of the district.

Narayan Chandra Basak, Deputy Director of DAE told this correspondent that light- trap programme has been implementing in the district for last few years to help the farmers to manage pest effectively with low-cost. This year we gave more emphasis on the programme, he said.

During September and October, the farmers face serious pest attack every year and they have to cost more money using pesticides indiscriminately for pest control, said the deputy director. He also said, the farmers go for indiscriminate use of pesticides as  they do not know what pesticides actually they need.

Over 2,58,955 hectares of land  were brought  under aman cultivation in the district this year. This technology has reduced use of indiscriminate pesticides to nearly 50 percent as farmers’ response to this technology, said the deputy director.

The farmers are also learning about the harmful and useful insects through this  technology and such identification is much needed for maintaining ecological balance, added the official.

I visited the method at the field level and it has got very positive response from the farmers’ side, said the official.

The technology is easy to handle, so the farmers can carry it from one field to another round the season according to their need, sources said.

The DAE sources said, they set up the light-traps at night using traditional lights, charger light or electric bulbs and  a pot with detergent or kerosene mixed clear water  and the pot is  put under the lights to draw the insects. The insects fall into the water  kept in the pot and thus the existence of harmful and beneficial insects in the field is identified, said sources.

Sources also informed that if existence  of harmful insects is found, agricultural experts render necessary advices to the farmers.

Contacted, Mahbubul Alam, Muktagacha Upazila Agriculture officer said, no harmful insects have  been detected in the upazila so far. He observed that light- trap technology is saving the aman filed from harmful insects and helping the farmers to learn about an environment friendly technology as well.

He also said , this programme  has been implementing  in  45 blocks in 10 unions of the upazila. This technology would take positive impact in the field of agriculture benefiting farmers, hoped the official.

Hazrat Ali, a farmer of village Kandinau of Kumargata union in Muktagacha said, he was acquainted with the technology for the first time this year and he attained  knowledge for operating the technology to detect harmful insects.

This technology  will encourage the farmers and it will boost aman production, hoped Hazrat Ali. The light-trap  method has inspired hundreds of farmers of the district in last couple of years and many farmers have been successfully using the nature friendly technology to detect the harmful and beneficial insects, needed to reap a good harvest, said Mohammad Abdul Hannan, Sadar Upazila Agriculture Officer.

Environment friendly Vermi-Compost

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Vermi-compost (an environment friendly compost produced using earth worm) has created a positive trend among hundreds of farmers in Phulbaira upazila of Mymensingh. The compost is very helpful for the farmers and the environment as well, sources said. The farmers need less money to make the compost and it is much cheaper than chemical fertilizers, farmers said.

Christian Commission for Development in Bangladesh (CCDB) under its project Comprehensive Poverty Reduction Programme (CPRP) is running the vermi compost programme at Koyer Chala, Bakta, Enayetpur, Rangamatia, Kanchichura and Nischintapur villages in Phulbaria to make the rural poor women self-reliant through producing vermi-compost

The vermi compost can be produced easily at home stead using a  cement slab ring or a big earthen bowl (chari) to keep the earth worms. Once bin is ready, bedding materials like sand, small pieces of brick is put in it. The worms put in the bin are covered with a layer of bedding, gunny bags or other structure to protect the worms against sun, downpours and birds. Twenty kgs of cow dung along with 20 kgs bio-waste like straw, hyacinth and vegetables waste are kept in the bin as feedstock for half-kg worms.

The amount of bio-compost what the earthworms eat up, they release its half amount as ‘tea dust like’ stool which is called vermi compost. Later the vermi-compost is separated through chaloni (sieving/straitening).

At initial stage a grower will get 20 to 25 kgs vermi compost after 45 to 60 days. But the harvest period is reduced when the worms’ number increases at the bins, said CCDP sources.

The surplus worms can be sold at TK. 1500 per kg. One kg vermi compost is sold at TK. 8 while price of chemical fertilizer is much higher, said sources. Now some 200 women are involved in vermi compost production in Phulbaria.

In comparison with the chemical fertilizers, vermi compost is better as it has nutritive value for containing the soil fertility. It also helps the soil to grow plants even in the dry season, said  CCDB sources. The vermi compost improves soil organic matter, maximizes retention of nutrients in the soil and maintains balanced soil level, sources added.

Like many vermi-compost producers, Jahan Ara of village Koyer Chala is producing vermi compost at her home stead. She started vermi compost production one year ago and now she produces around eight  per month and sells it at TK. 8 per kg.

Fatema, another woman of the same village now earns around TK. 3000 per month. Fazila of Bakta, Aysha of  Nischintapur while Hasina and Jamila of Kanchichura village started producing vermi compost, seeing Fatema’s success.

Talking to this correspondent, some farmers of Koyer Chala said, they use vermi compost in their bitter-guard and brinjal fields and received a good result then using  of chemical fertilizers.

Anwar Hossain said, they needed a little amount of TSP fertilizers after using vermi-compost this year and the production cost came down.

The farmers also observed less pest attack in their fields after using of vermi-compost, farmers informed.

Debasish Kumar Dey, area manager of CCDB said, vermi compost will not only help to improve the soil condition, it will also reduce the use of chemical fertilizer in great deal. He also said, DAE should include vermi compost in farmer training curricula to train the farmers on vermi compost so that they can produce and use it in their fields.

The environment friendly vermi compost can also be an income generating programme for the poor rural women, added the official.

Narayan Chandra Basak, deputy director of Department of Agriculture Extension here said, this compost fertilizer is an ideal nutrient source for plants as it is rich with  nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium than other traditional composts and it is beneficial for natural environment.

Vermi compost, also an excellent fertilizer for maintaining ecological balance can make the soil’s structure well for good production decreasing the indiscriminate use of chemical fertilizers, said the deputy director. The vermi compost can help to produce chemical free crops, he said adding “when the plants are strong, normally they face less pest attack”. Dr. Md. Rafiqul Islam, a professor of Soil Science Department of Faculty of Agriculture at Bangladesh Agricultural University said, vermi compost contains organic matters and increases water holding capacity, improves soil structure easing the water movement and aeration into the soil.