BMDA has implemented the Tk136.16 crore project in 25 upazilas in the Barind area recently
A new potential mode of efficient irrigation has been revealed since the implementation o a project related to promotion of subsurface irrigation systems for the first time in the Barind area.
Subsurface pipeline is being adjudged as the proven means of ensuring irrigation efficiency as it can save at least 40% irrigation water in 25 upazilas under Rajshahi, Chapainawabganj and Naogaon districts.
Officials opined that the initiative will contribute a lot towards lessening the gradually mounting pressure on the groundwater tables in this vast dried area in the years to come. The system has also contributed to the diversification process in the project covering areas.
Mazharul Islam, 48, of Daldali village under Volahat upazila, is now happy availing the scope of irrigating his farmland with subsurface piped water for the last couple of years.
In the system, we need less water for irrigation as the extent of waste is less than the conventional open-drain irrigation system, he added.
“We’ve started enjoying the privileges of efficient irrigation,” said Nibaran Das, 53, another farmer of Beliaghata village.
As part of efforts to make its irrigation system more efficient, Barind Multipurpose Development Authority (BMDA) has implemented a project titled ‘Enhancement of Irrigation Efficiency through Construction of Sub-surface Irrigation Channel’.
BMDA, the ever-largest irrigation providing state-owned entity in the country’s northwest region, has implemented the Tk136.16 crore project in 25 upazilas in the Barind area recently.
“We’ve installed 1,080 kilometres upvc pipelines and 216 kilometers flexible pipes through saving agricultural lands under the four-year project,” said Engineer Shahidur Rahman, director of the project.
More than 3,000 farmers were imparted training on how to properly handle and maintain the constructed infrastructures so that they can derive total benefits of the project.
Engineer Rahman said the installed pipelines have expanded irrigation area to around 32,400 hectares of land contributing a lot towards cropping yield around 1.62 lakh tons on an average per year.
As a whole, the water saving initiative is being seen as potential generating hopes of lessening the gradually mounting pressure on underground water.
Highlighting aspects of the initiative Jahangir Alam Khan, Coordinator of Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) Project, said efficiency in irrigation has become a necessity for reducing the misuse of water alongside decreasing agriculture production cost.
He opined that the conventional irrigation method has the problem of misusing water triggering pressure on both ground and surface water posing a threat to ecology. So, some major parameters like water distribution system, irrigation scheme management system, and water marketing system, sources of water, source of energy, Alternate Wetting Drying (AWD) and types of pumps should be brought under consideration.
Khan mentioned that the agriculture sector has started facing the problem of irrigation water scarcity which is being adjudged as an obstacle to crop production.
The sector has also to face huge production costs due to various reasons pushing farmers into a difficult situation. So, time has come for more promotion of underground canal to improve irrigation efficiency, he added.
With initiative of the IWRM project, more than 12.58 lakh community people of 2.66 lakh households are being motivated and encouraged towards using surface water for irrigation purposes besides farming various less-irrigation consuming crops to reduce the pressure on the underground water.
The project is being implemented by DASCOH Foundation around 1,280 drought- hit villages in 39 Union Parishads (Ups) and three municipalities of eight upazilas in Rajshahi, Naogaon and Chapainawabganj districts since 2015, said Jahangir Khan.