Agriculture Minister Matia Chowdhury has called on farmers to gear up paddy cultivation in the Aus season (March-August) instead of Boro season (January-May).
She observed that the ground water level has depleted by seven to eight meters due to excessive extraction by deep tube wells and shallow tube wells during Boro cultivation in recent years.
The minister made the remarks while speaking at an interaction with the agriculture officials of Rangpur region at the Rangpur Deputy Commissioner's Office on Saturday.
Mentioning that it required 3,200 liters of water to produce one kg of Boro rice, Matia said: “If water is consumed at this rate, there will not be any water left for drinking.”
“Aus paddy needs little water. Since it is cultivated in the rainy season, no supplementary irrigation is required. Unfortunately, our agricultural scientists are not doing enough research to increase its yield and protect the crop from diseases and pests,” she said.
She also urged agricultural officials not to follow the prescriptions of foreign companies.
Boro production in Bangladesh was 18 million metric tons and Aus was 2.13 million metric tons during the last harvests.