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BARD inaugurates paddy harvesting program in Comilla

  • Published at 03:31 pm May 4th, 2020
Boro paddy
Photo: Dhaka Tribune

The project has produced 107 tons of paddy in 40 acres of land, which has seen the highest production in Laksam upazila in the current boro season

A program for rice crop harvesting through Combine Harvester machine has been inaugurated under the project titled “Agricultural Mechanization and Collective Farm Management” adopted by Bangladesh Academy for Rural Development  (BARD).

Advocate Alhaj Md Yunus Bhuiyan, upazila chairman of Laksam upazila, inaugurated the paddy harvesting program of the pilot project under implementation in Kandirpar union of Laksam upazila on April 27.

This project has been undertaken with the aim of making agriculture profitable through modern machine-based and community-based collective farming methods, reads a press release published by BARD. 

Farming is being managed through a "social enterprise" consisting of farmers. The enterprise is being run by a 10-member management committee comprising local farmers, landowners, barga farmers while all the activities of crop cultivation are being conducted using local farmers and labourers.

The overall activities of the project are being monitored under the supervision of BARD, Upazila Agriculture Extension Office and local administration.

Honorable Mayor of Laksam Municipality Md Abul Khair was present as the special guest on the occasion. Upazila Nirbahi Officer AKM Saiful Alam, Joint Director of the Project Division of BARD Abdullah Al Mamun, other faculty members of BARD, Upazila Agriculture Officer Md. Rezaul Haque, and local public representatives and dignitaries were also present.

Speaking as the chief guest, Advocate Alhaj Md Yunus Bhuiyan said: "In the current situation, the whole world is going through a crisis. Infection from Covid-19 can lead to an extreme food crisis in the coming days."

“There is also a possibility of crop failure due to natural calamities. This machine-based project is a landmark step as there is a shortage of adequate workers. In the situation, as per the instructions of Hon'ble Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, paddy will reach the farmer's house by the use of modern agricultural machinery for cutting and threshing.” 

He also thanked the BARD authority for implementing such a timely farmer-friendly project under the direction of Hon'ble Minister of Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives and Local Member of Parliament Md Tajul Islam.

Honourable Mayor of Laksam Municipality Md Abul Khair was present as the special guest on the occasion. 

Outcome of the project

Md Abul Khair said: “Farmers have been deprived of a fair price for their produce in recent years as a result of traditional farming methods, despite all kinds of government subsidies. In this situation, it has become very important to invent ways to reduce the cost of agricultural production. "

“The use of modern agricultural machinery and the establishment of joint farms have reduced the cost of crop production by about 30% and increased crop production.”

Upazila Agriculture Officer Md Rezaul Haque said, the production has been higher than usual as a result of cultivating the same variety of crop on large land through community enterprise. 

As a result of scientific planting and proper care of seedlings with the help of machinery, the project has produced 107 tons (1,07,000 kg) of paddy in 40 acres of land at the rate of six and half tons (6,500 kg) per hectare, which is the highest production in Laksam upazila during the current boro season.

In this method, 141 plots of land have been surveyed through digital land survey and the same variety (BRRI Dhan-74) has been cultivated in 15 large plots of land. 

On December 30, 2019, a tripartite agreement was signed between BARD, office of the upazila agriculture officer, Laksam and Noapara-Chhangaon Joint Agricultural Farm Community Enterprise for the implementation of the project.

The pilot project was inaugurated on January 17, 2020 by the Minister Md Tajul Islam.

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