RANGPUR: Adoption of Alternate Drying and Wetting (AWD) irrigation technology during Boro rice farming could save minimum 30 percent irrigation water substantially reducing pressure on underground water, say experts, reports BSS.
Talking to the agency, noted rice scientist Dr Md Abdul Mazid, who got Independence Award 2018 Medal (food security) this year, suggested for large-scale adoption of the simplest and effective technology to cope with scarcity of irrigation water.“Adoption of the technology can reduce 5 numbers of irrigation, save minimum 30 percent underground water, 30 litres diesel and electricity for irrigation in addition to producing 500-kg more Boro rice per hectare bringing uncountable benefits,” he said. He also favoured for crop zoning to cultivate more irrigation water consuming crops in the southern zones and less water consuming crops in the drought-prone northern zones as the agriculture sector is facing severe threat due to changing climate. “The farmers have already started reaping benefits of the AWD technology following its dissemination to them by different agriculture related organisations,” said Dr Mazid, also a former chief scientific officer of Bangladesh Rice Research Institute.
He said lifting of underground water must be reduced to the minimum as future of agriculture depends on availability of water amid a formidable threat of climate change when there is alternative to keeping food production rate increasing.
“If the AWD method was adopted for farming Boro rice on 48-lakh hectares of land in the country, 24 lakh tonnes additional paddy worth Taka 6,400 crore would be produced annually along with saving Taka 800 crore for less use of diesel and electricity,” he said.
Dr Mazid said, “The farmers generally use 3,000 to 4,000 litres irrigated underground waters to produce one kg Boro rice, whereas it needs only 1,500 to 2,000 litres when the AWD irrigation technology used.”