RAJSHAHI, Mar 11 (BSS)- Protecting soil productivity from further declining has become crucial for boosting crop production to ensure food security of the country, speakers said at a day- long workshop here on Saturday.
Besides, they told the workshop that the soil productivity has gradually been declining as the soil has becoming strongly acidic following repeated crop cultivation through indiscriminate using of chemical fertilizers and pesticides round the year.
They, however, said using prescribed rate of dolochun could be the effective means of amending the acid soils for boosting crop production in the country.
The workshop styled "Dolochun Increases Crop Production in Acid Soils of Bangladesh: Experiences from Rangpur, Rajshahi and Sylhet Divisions" was organized by Wheat Research Center (WRC) under Bangladesh Agriculture Research Institute (BARI) at the conference hall of Postal Academy.
Speakers said around 50 to 65 lakh tons of additional crops could be yielded per year if all the 34 lakh hectares of strongly acid soils of the country brought under using the prescribed rate of dolochun.
Cornell University of USA under its Food for Progress in Bangladesh Programme supported the workshop.
In his address of welcome, Principal Scientific Officer of Regional Wheat Research Center, Dr Israil Hossain, narrated the objectives of the workshop and sought cooperation from all concerned towards disseminating the ideas among the farmers.
Director (Research) of BARI Dr Sirajul Islam addressed the inaugural session as the chief guest while Operations Manager of Food for Progress Project Scott Elliot spoke as the special guest with WRC Director Dr Jalal Uddin in the chair.
Quoting various field-level research findings, the speakers said lime increases production of most high valued crops like wheat, maize, potato, mustard, spices, pulse and vegetables to 10 to 50 percent.
Technical leader of the programme Dr Bodruzzaman presented the keynote paper highlighting the salient features of the chemical component.
He told the workshop that the acid soils possess high concentration of aluminum, iron and manganese triggering deficiency of some major micro-nutrients like phosphorus, molybdenum and low availability of bases which causes reduction in crop yield.
Dr Zaman said that applying four kgs of dolochun per decimal of free land at optimum moisture condition, once for three years and distribution should be equal is the recommended prescription.
On the contrary, he said the farmers should be discouraged from applying dolochun on muddy soil, not more than suggested dose and on the standing crop lands.
Tarash Upazila Agriculture Officer Mizanur Rahman, Patnitala Upazila Agriculture Officer Akhteruzzaman and Akkelpur Upazila Agriculture Officer Abu Hossain also shared the experiences on the issue.
Some 70 scientists, researchers and others concerned from all the agricultural related organizations attended the workshop.