Agriculture minister Matia Chowdhury on Sunday emphasised practicing conservation agriculture to respond to the challenges of climate change.
Conservation agriculture is a method that suggests use of farmland in a controlled way without damaging the soil and water resources.
Matia said parts of Bangladesh were experiencing spells of drought and floods and that agricultural production in the areas faced a huge challenge.
‘Surface water is strictly limited, ground water is scarce. Soil organic matter is very low,’ said Matia as she pointed out the challenges faced by Bangladesh.
She was speaking at a workshop on ‘promoting pulses, oil seeds, maize, and other crops in the stress-prone areas of Bangladesh in partnership with Australia.’
The programme was jointly organised by Agricultural Research Foundation and Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research at BARC in the morning.
‘So research on nutrient management and conservation of agriculture is highly desired,’ said Matia.
According to her, higher than usual tidal surges had worsened the situation in southern Bangladesh where saline water intrusion was a big problem.
It is indispensable that we learn to save water while cultivating in drought-prone northwestern region, Matia said.
Murdoch University professor Richard W Bell in a presentation said conservative agriculture means cultivating diverse crops without disturbing the soil much and exploiting resources as less as possible.
He cited researches that showed that conservative agriculture increased soil fertility and decreased greenhouse gas emission from cultivation of rice.
Practice of conservation agriculture could mean farmers making a yearly extra income of Tk 44,000 per hectare, Bell said.
KGF executive director Wais Kabir, Australian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Julia Niblett, BARC executive chairman Kabir Ikramul Haque, University of Western Australia professor W Erskine, former BARI DG Matiur Rahman, former BRRI DG Jiban Krishna Biswas and professor Yahia Khandoker attended the workshop among others.
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