RAJSHAHI, June 12 (BSS)- Adoption of conservation agriculture based crop management has become an urgent need for increasing food production and reduce cost amidst various adverse impacts of manmade and natural catastrophes.
Agricultural experts and researchers revealed this while addressing a five-day capacity building training course titled "Conservation Agriculture Based Crop Management in Bangladesh" at Regional Wheat Research Center (RWRC) here today.
International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI) jointly organized the course under 'Cereal Systems Initiative for South Asia (CSISA) project. Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and US Agency for International Development jointly supported the
Main thrust of the course was to improve food security, livelihoods and enhance farmers' income through conserving natural resources in the country.
The session was told that capacity building and improved technical knowledge to enable conservation agriculture are crucial planks of the CSISA-Bangladesh.
CIMMYT's Library and Knowledge Management Specialist Dr. Petr Kosina, Consultant Dr. Ken Sayre, Cropping System Agronomist Dr. Mahesh Kumar Gathala and Timothy Krupnik and A.K. M. Salah Uddin, Director of Wheat Research Centre Dr. Jalal Uddin, RWRC Principal Scientific Officer Dr. Israil Hossain and its Senior Scientific Officer Dr Ilias Hossain spoke on the occasion.
Dr. Petr Kosina said principles of conservation agriculture are use of reduced tillage, retention of some amounts of residues on the field, sustainable and profitable crop diversification and its rotation and judicious use of natural resources.
In present context of climate change especially unpredictable rainfall, unusual drought and other natural calamities, he said this technology can survive the farmers utilizing the minimum amount of water for crop establishment like avoiding paddling operation.
Demand of food production is gradually increasing to feed the huge number population and more pressures are coming on per-unit cultivable land.
So, the new and updated technology is capable to enhance production and productivity in cost-effective way, he added.
To this end, understanding of better livelihoods and improved mechanism of stakeholder participation must be ensured.
Disseminating his expertise Dr. Ken Sayre said different international donor organizations should support such kind of need-oriented agricultural activity for its large-scale promotion which needs supply of need-based adequate machineries.
Some proven benefits of the conservation agriculture-based machinery such as power tiller operated seeder (PTOS) and bed former or planters are included early planting, increased yield, reduce production costs and water requirement and help improve the environment by reducing the greenhouse gas emissions.
PTOS can play vital role to enhance farmers' income, minimize production cost and crop-diversification.
In the conventional tillage system, soil losses organic matters, breaks structure, reduce beneficial organism activities, more erosion and ultimately loss fertility.
In this regard, he also viewed that there is no alternative to promote updated technologies at farmers level to make the crop-diversification system successful through to face the existing constraints of both surface and groundwater resources.
The course topics included rationale and principles behind conservation agriculture based crop management, communication for
agricultural extension, integrated pest management principles safe handling of agro chemicals, and key issues associated with appropriate machinery for conservation agriculture.