RAJSHAHI: Barind Multipurpose Development Authority (BMDA) has provided irrigation to over 9.31 lakh hectares of croplands in the country’s northwest region during last 2018-19 fiscal contributing a lot to boost its farming yield.
The huge croplands were brought under irrigation facilities through operating 15,517 power-driven deep tube wells (DTWs) and 519 low lift pumps in almost round the year, reports BSS.The BMDA, ever largest irrigation-providing state organisation in the region, has realised around Taka 202.68 crore as irrigation charge in the last fiscal, up by Taka 49.22 crore over the previous 2017-18 fiscal.
Engineer Abdur Rashid, Executive Director of BMDA, told the agency that the irrigated lands have yielded more than 34.32 lakh tonnes including 26.76 lakh tonnes of additional crops especially food grain valued at
around Taka 4,348.5 crore in the
region especially the vast Barind tract yearly.
Till last June, the BMDA activated 4,332 inoperative deep tube-wells, installed 525 low lift pumps, re-excavated 2000-kilometer canal and 3098 derelict ponds, constructed and expanded 12346.44-kilometer water distribution infrastructures alongside 1579 drinking water supply installations and 417 dug wells and 749 cross-dams, which ensured a sound irrigation system.
In addition to imparting training to 1,47,043 farmers, around 2.58 crore saplings of various fruit, timber and herbal trees were planted in the command area to protect environment and meet the growing demands 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.
Even around 35 to 36 years back, only a single crop could be produced in the areas depending on the rainfall. But, at present, at least three crops are being harvested by dint of the expanded irrigation facilities.
Around 57.57 percent area of the total cultivable land of the region has, so far, been brought under the irrigation facilities.
In addition to the irrigation activities, the BMDA has been implementing various need-oriented uplift programmes aimed at improving the socioeconomic conditions by increasing crop production side by side protecting the region from adverse impact of the environment. It has, so far, executed 39 projects under its command areas.
The implemented projects has yielded a significant success in crop production and making an ecological balance. Those are also creating jobs for the unemployed people and also ensuring various facilities along with an environment- friendly weather in the region.
Yearly crop production has been enhanced to 34.32 lakh tonnes from 7.56 lakh, crop intensity to 226 percent from 117 percent while annual rainfall rose to 64 inches from 54.99 inches.
Currently, five other projects are being implemented in different districts where around 80 percent of the total work has been completed while the rest is expected to be executed in phases by June next year.
Engineer Rashid mentioned that some of the projects had initially been executed with the government funds. But, now the BMDA has been implementing the projects with its own funds along with payment of monthly staff salaries.
Additional 68.90 lakh tonnes of food grains including 24.48 lakh tonnes additional are supposed to be produced in the region if the rest 5.83 lakh hectares of non-irrigated cultivable land were brought under irrigation, he added.