Agriculture experts said Bangladesh is moving toward the right direction to achieve agricultural sustainability increasing overall food production by overcoming all sorts of constraints, including adverse impacts of climate change.
“Agriculture scientists are conducting continuous research for innovation and expanded cultivation of climate resilient crop varieties. So, profitable cropping patterns are becoming effective to increase food productivity” said Dr. Md Abdul Mazid.
Dr. Mazid, an agriculture scientist, who got the Independence Award 2018 Medal (food security) this year, appreciated pragmatic steps taken by the government during previous years to increase food productivity by adapting to changing the climate.
Expanded cultivation of climate-smart crops, mechanization of agriculture, adoption of proven technologies, best farm practices, balanced fertilization, and pest control and expansion of irrigation facilities are contributing to boosting food output.
He suggested all agriculture-related research institutes and organizations for conducting continuous research on the innovation of time- befitting, need-based and more climate-smart high yielding varieties of crops to further increase food productivity.
“Bangladesh is currently producing over 34.8 million tonnes of clean rice annually, in addition, other cereal crops making the country self-reliant on food for its 16 crore population to attain the sustainable development goals by 2030,” he said.
The growth in rice production will continue to increase following various pragmatic steps of the government to further enhance its output by almost one and a half times by 2050 to feed probably 22-crore population that time.
Dr. Mazid, also a former Chief Scientific Officer of Bangladesh Rice Research Institute, said farmers have started using improved and eco-friendly agriculture technologies and practices almost having no adverse effects on the environment.
“For a sustainable agriculture amid changing the climate, we have to ensure an effective extension of services, improved technologies and proven practices among farmers using video-based training to resolve agricultural and natural resource problems,” he said.
Dr. Mazid especially suggested for the adoption of resource-conserving and conservation agriculture technologies, practices, integrated pest and nutrient management, reduced tillage, and agroforestry for sustainable agriculture.
“Reaching quality seed of high yielding crops and transferring technologies for seed production of hybrid crops to farmers’ level along with providing necessary ICT-based training on latest technologies are crucial to increasing food productivity,” he said.
Echoing the same tone, Horticulture Specialist at the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) at its regional office here Khondker Md Mesbahul said food production continues increasing consistently, especially in the last one decade.
Like areas in the country, farmers produced 34.22-lakh tonnes of rice and wheat in five districts of Rangpur region during the 2016-2017 season against 18.90-lakh tonnes food demand of 1.61-crore population with 15.32- lakh tonnes surplus food.
“However, farmers produced only 29.40-lakh tonnes of rice and wheat during the 2008-2009 seasons against 17.26-lakh tonnes food demand of 1.04-crore population than with 12.14-lakh tonnes surplus food in the region,” Islam added.
Talking to DailyBangladesh, Deputy Director of the DAE at its regional office Md Moniruzzaman said food productivity would continue to increase as farmers started using quality seed of climate-smart crops, compost fertilizers and latest technologies in crop cultivation.
“The country will attain sustainability in agriculture soon as crop intensity stood at 230.57 percent during the 2016-2017 against 214 percent in the 2008-2009 seasons and the trend continues in Rangpur agriculture region as elsewhere in the country,” he said.