Farmers in Rajshahi have become happy over using pre-paid card system in irrigation and the system got immense popularity among them in the vast Barind tract during the last couple of years.
Barind Multipurpose Development Authorities (BMDA) commissioned the cards under a project titled "Smart Card Based Prepaid Pump Usage and Energy Measuring System".
The three year project is being implemented in 25 upazilas of Rajshahi, Naogaon and Chapainawabganj districts involving around Taka 19.09 crore since March, 2014, reports BSS.
Engineer Abdur Rashid, executive director of BMDA, told BSS that the modern system intends to supply irrigation water to the crop field with pre-payment system according to farmers' actual demand.
It increases additional employment facilities to the laborers and marginal farmers during and after project implementation. Besides, it's very helpful to prevent meter tempering and checking pilferage of electricity.
Pre-paid pump usages and energy measuring unit has been established in 3900 deep tube wells. More than 82,000 smart cards were distributed among the beneficiary farmers till June last.
By using pre-paid card for getting water for irrigation through deep tubewells in the fields is saving at least 30 per cent of cost of the farmers as well as electricity and misuse of about 40 per cent of underground water.
Due to receiving water for irrigation in due time through pre-paid cards, the production of crops were increasing, farmers were being benefited and there was a little impact on environment.
"We are working to bring 100 per cent of its deep tubewells under prepaid card system," Engineer Rashid asserted.
According to the sources concerned, a vast area covering greater four districts of Rajshahi belonged to Barind region.
Earlier, most of the fields of the region used to produce only one crop a year only the rain-fed Aman paddy. But, by virtue of installation of hundreds of deep tubewells in this region, the cropping pattern of this region has been completely changed.
Over 7.92 lakh hectares including 2.97 lakh hectares of Irri-Boro lands were brought under irrigation facilities through operating 14,642 power-driven deep tube wells (DTWs) in almost everywhere in the country's northwest region.
The irrigated lands have yielded around 34.32 lakh tonnes including 26.76 lakh tonnes of additional crops especially food grain in the vast Barind tract yearly.
Engineer Rashid added that the region scored significant progress in the crop production sector following the expansion of irrigation facilities along with supplying water from the re-excavated canals and ponds.
He mentioned that yearly crop production has been enhanced to 34.32 lakh tonnes from 7.56 lakh, crop intensity to 226 percent from 117 percent while annual rainfall rose to 64 inches from 54.99 inches.