Published:  06:29 AM, 01 August 2021

Stress for best use of arable lands

Amid changing climate and Covid-19 pandemic, ensuring best use of land has become crucial to enhance crop output adopting newer cropping patterns and technologies for ensuring sustainable food security.Talking to BSS, Agriculturist Dr Md Abdul Mazid, who got the Independence Medal-2018 (food security), termed the issue of food security as a vital global issue amid the Covid-19 pandemic now when the changing climate continues threatening agriculture. "

We must make best use of lands to keep food production increasing onward braving the Covid-19 pandemic and adapting to adverse impacts of climate change that continues affecting agriculture and other sectors globally," he said. Under changing climatic conditions, Bangladesh is moving toward the right direction in ensuring best use of lands to increase food production consistently in the last twelve years on its way to achieve agricultural sustainability.

Responding to the repeated calls of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, farmers, common people and char dwellers are cultivating various crops on the mainland, homesteads, roadside areas, char lands and dried up riverbeds to increase crop productivity.Dr Mazid, also a former Chief Scientific Officer of Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI), said Bangladesh is now producing around four crore tonnes of food grains annually making the country self-reliant on food for its 17-crore population. "

The present government has taken various pragmatic steps to increase food output minimum by 1.5 times within 2050 for feeding the probable 22 crore population of the country at that time," he said. Being inspired by the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE), BRRI and other agriculture-related organisations, farmers are using eco-friendly and climate-resilient farming technologies having almost no effect on the ecosystem.

Alongside ensuring optimum use of lands, Dr Mazid stressed on using conservation agriculture based technologies and proven practices like integrated pests' and nutrient management and cultivation of less water consuming crops for sustainable agriculture. "Reaching quality seeds of high yielding crops and transferring technologies for seed production of hybrid crops and necessary training on latest technologies to farmers are also important to further increase food productivity," he said.

Suggesting for constant research on innovation of more stress-tolerant crop varieties, he stressed on speeding up the process of mechanisation of agriculture, balanced fertilization and irrigation facilities to boost food output to make farm activities more profitable. Senior Coordinator (Agriculture and Environment) of RDRS Bangladesh Agriculturist Mamunur Rashid said climate change impacts have affected agriculture and crop productivity globally.

"We must ensure best use of cultivable lands to increase crop yield under changing climate remembering that the cultivable land area is continuously shrinking in the country. where the population growth continues to rise," he said.Under the present Covid-19 pandemic and changing climate, farmers should be educated more to make best use of their lands and adapt to various adverse situations that are hampering food production.

Agriculturist Bidhu Bhusan Ray, Additional Director of the DAE, Rangpur region, put emphasis on utmost use of land adopting time-befitting cropping patterns to increase crop output and enable farmers reaping maximum profits for sustainable agriculture.He called upon agriculture scientists to innovate newer stress-tolerant crop varieties suitable for cultivation by farmers to keep food production increasing round the year, braving the Covid-19 pandemic amid adverse impacts of climate change.

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