The Department of Agricultural Extension and the Ministry of Agriculture have decided to implement this special initiative to popularize the method for more successful crop production
Preparations are underway for the upcoming Boro paddy season in Nilphamari district. But, rather than preparing the traditional wet-bed nurseries, this year farmers in Taranibari village of Sadar upazila are experimenting with modified tray nurseries to produce seedlings for mechanized transplanting.
Some 77 farmers, including 22 females and the rest males, have been brought under a special government incentivized program which aims to maximize efficiency in Boro paddy cultivation and production.
Boro seedbeds have been experimentally set up in 4,500 trays on 50 acres of land in the village as this method requires less land and fewer seeds and inputs, such as fertilizer and water, reducing nursery costs by up to 50%.
Moreover, this portable method makes it possible for seedbeds to be set up anywhere and allows them to be protected from natural disasters while also achieving enhanced grain yield.
Besides, by moving the seedbeds elsewhere—preferably in free spaces around farmers’ houses—the unoccupied lands previously intended for seedbed preparation can be utilized for various short-term crops like mustard.
Speaking to Dhaka Tribune, Partha Pratim Roy, deputy assistant agriculture officer of the Taranibari block, said in a seedling tray, the soil is mixed with dung in 3:2 ratio before seeds are sown. The seeds are then sprinkled again with a mixture of equal parts soil and dung and placed on a flat surface and soaked. Seedlings emerge within 3 days of seedbed formation. It is possible to produce and plant seedlings in 20 to 25 days.
Mostafa, Nur Amin, Bidhan Chandra Roy, and Nurnahar among other farmers of Taranibari said Boro seedbeds cannot be prepared without adequate irrigation and drainage facilities. Under this government incentivised program, they are hoping to get better quality seedlings and higher yields.
Obaidur Rahman Mandal, deputy director, Department of Agricultural Extension, said: “It is necessary to increase cultivation and production of paddy in order to keep up with the food demand of the constantly rising population in our country.
He further said that the Department of Agricultural Extension and the Ministry of Agriculture have decided to implement this special initiative to popularize the method for more successful crop production.