Light Traps: A skyline for millions of farmers...

Dhaka, Saturday   17 April 2021

Light Traps: A skyline for millions of farmers

 Sujan Sen, Sherpur Correspondent

 Published: 12:39 PM, 6 March 2021   Updated: 12:59 PM, 6 March 2021

Farmers are identifying insects through ‘Light Traps’ technology; Photo: Daily Bangladesh

Farmers are identifying insects through ‘Light Traps’ technology; Photo: Daily Bangladesh

The Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) has started using ‘Light Traps’ technology to identify the beneficial and harmful insects in croplands to keep the target of boro paddy cultivation intact in five upazilas of Sherpur. 

Such a method will save millions of farmers from pests, according to beneficiaries. 

“The program has been started in 156 blocks of 52 UPs in the district. This process will continue until harvesting,” said Dr. Mohit Kumar Dey, deputy director of the DAE on Saturday morning.

According to the DAE, boro paddy has been cultivated on 90,775 hectares of land in Sherpur this season. Of these – 23,950 hectares in Sadar upazila, 18,708 hectares in Sreebardi, 13,755 hectares in Jhenaigati, 22,758 hectares in Nalitabari and 13,460 hectares in Nakla. 

Due to a lack of awareness in paddy cultivation, many farmers apply pesticides on the land before the pests attack, resulting in the killing of many beneficial insects of the land. For this, the farmers also suffered financially.

Farmers are being encouraged to apply pesticides after detecting the presence of harmful insects using ‘Light Traps’. This will reduce the use of unnecessary pesticides by the farmers, and the crop will be free from toxins. 

Even a certain number of solar panels are being installed for this by the Ministry of Agriculture. Besides, the farmers also arrange this initiative by themselves through electric wires or chargers. The ‘Light Traps’ is set every Tuesday.

“An electric light was hung with three poles next to the paddy field. A water container is placed under the light. Detergent powder or kerosene is then added to the pot water – which attracts different species of insects after turning on the light,” said Afazul Haque Babu, deputy assistant agriculture officer of Nakla, regarding the use of light traps.

This is how the presence of harmful insects in croplands is determined, he added.

The harmful insects, grasshoppers, moths, brown grasshoppers and leaf-wrapping insects are being identified by this method, he said. 

“I didn’t know about the ‘Light Traps’. From now on, I will use this technology to identify the insects before applying pesticides on the cropland,” said Hossain Ali, a farmer from Jhenaigati, about the technology.

Appreciating the initiative of the agriculture department, he said millions of farmers will be able to save their crops from the attack of harmful insects with this technology.

Humayun Kabir, an agriculture officer of Jhenaigati, said farmers were financially disadvantaged due to excessive use of pesticides. To reduce the use of pesticides, farmers can easily use this technology to find out if there are any harmful insects in the crop.