Around 57.57% of the total cultivable land of the region has so far been brought under the irrigation facilities
Barind Multipurpose Development Authority (BMDA) has provided irrigation to over 525,000 hectares of croplands in the country’s northwest region during the last 2019-20 fiscal contributing a lot to boost agriculture production.
A vast amount of croplands were brought under irrigation facilities through the operation of 15,517 power-driven deep tube wells (DTWs) and 516 low lift pumps in almost over a year, officials said.
BMDA, the largest ever irrigation-providing state organization in the region, has also realized around Tk155.90 crore as irrigation charge in the last fiscal, they said.
Abdur Rashid, superintending engineer of BMDA, said the irrigated lands have yielded more than 3,432,000 tons of crops valued at around Tk4,348.5 crore in the region, especially in the vast Barind tract each year. Most of the crops are food grain.
Till last June, the BMDA activated 4,332 inoperative deep tube-wells, installed 532 low lift pumps, re-excavated 2011-kilometer canal and 3098 derelict ponds, constructed and expanded 12346.44-kilometer water distribution infrastructures alongside 1579 drinking water supply installations and 413 dug wells and 749 cross-dams, which ensured a sound irrigation system, he said.
In addition to imparting training to 1,47,968 farmers, around 2.58 crore saplings of various fruit, timber and herbal trees were planted in the command area of BMDA to protect the environment and meet the growing demand for fruits and timber in the region.
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, said Rashid.
Even around 36 to 37 years back, only a single crop could be produced in the areas depending on the rainfall, he said, adding that at present, at least three crops are being harvested by dint of the expanded irrigation facilities.
Around 57.57% of the total cultivable land of the region has so far been brought under the irrigation facilities.
With the irrigation activities, the BMDA has been implementing various need-oriented uplift programs aimed at improving the socioeconomic conditions of the people by increasing crop production side by side protecting the region from adverse impact of the environment.
It has so far executed 41 projects under its command areas.
The implemented projects have yielded a significant success in crop production and ecological balance, creating jobs for employed people and also ensuring various facilities along with an environment-friendly weather in the region, Rashid said.
Yearly crop production has been enhanced to 343,200 tons from 756,000 which is tantamount to 226% from 117% while annual rainfall rose to 64 inches from 54.99 inches, he added.
Currently, six other projects are being implemented in different districts aimed at overall development of the region.
Engineer Rashid mentioned that although some of the projects had initially been executed with the government’s financial assistance, the BMDA is now implementing the projects with its own funds along with payment of monthly salaries to staff.
An additional 6,890,000 lakh tonnes of food grains will be produced in the region if the rest 583,000 hectares of non-irrigated cultivable land were brought under irrigation, he added.
“We have a plan of elevating the surface water-based irrigation to 30% from the existing 10% by 2030 to lessen the gradually mounting pressure on underground water,” he further said.