RAJSHAHI: Surface water resources were enriched through excavating canal to ensure supplementary irrigation to transplanted aman paddy, over 40,000 hectares of land in high barind tract in the district, reports BSS.
Around 50,000 hectares of dried lands in Godagari and Tanore Upazilas are brought under transplanted aman paddy depending on only rainwater as the aman paddy farming is commonly known as rain-fed.But, the farmers face a great water crisis in late stage of the farming that needs supplementary irrigation on an urgent basis due to rain-less condition in almost every year.
To mitigate the seasonal crises to some extent, an eight-kilometer canal was excavated in Godagari area with seven check-dams creating scopes of conserving rainwater which is capable to provide irrigation to more than 10,000 hectares of aman paddy fields subject to necessity. DASCOH Foundation under its ‘Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) project’ excavated the canal along with constructing the check-dams last year at a cost of Taka two crore as part of its efforts to lessen the gradually mounting pressure on groundwater through promoting surface water irrigation.
Shafiqul Islam, Upazila Agriculture Officer, said many of the farmers of the surrounding Kalma, Badhair, Godagari and Mohanpur areas protect around 5,000 hectares of paddy fields with the canal water last year. Yield loss occurred badly if supplementary irrigation isn’t ensured timely, he added.
Arif Mondal, 45, a farmer of Paharpur village, said he had protected his ten bigha of aman paddy from the dearth after getting the canal water last season. He is now happy over irrigation by using canal water.
He said the farmers transplanted paddy and subsequently protected it through using irrigation water from the nearby Godagari canal during the rainless condition.
“I have cultivated paddy on 15 bighas of land. Now, I am totally depended on the canal water for supplementary irrigation if needed to protect the crop,” Mondal added.Ruhul Amin, Chairman of Godagari Union Parishad (UP), said local farmers are getting benefits from the canal water when water crisis persists.
The farmers have also taken initiative of excavating more other canals with support of the IWRM project which is being implemented in drought affected 39 UPs and three pourasavas in Rajshahi, Chapainawabganj and Naogaon districts since 2015 with financial support from Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation-SDC.Prof. Raquib Ahmed of Department of Geography and Environmental Sciences in Rajshahi University said around 3,000 liters of water needs to produce one kilogram of paddy.
Barind area’s irrigation system is largely dependent on underground water. So, huge underground water is extracted for crop cultivation including paddy every year. Step should be taken to excavate and re-excavate all the existing derelict ponds and canals for boosting uses of surface water for irrigation purposes.
The measures can be effective means of proper aquifer recharge. He also stressed the need for environment-friendly more irrigation schemes and said there is no alternative but to promote surface water based irrigation to protect the groundwater resources.