RAJSHAHI: Farmers will be given 5,795 farm machineries with the main thrust of infusing furthermore dynamism into the process of farm mechanisation.
The grassroots farmers will get the machinery at 70 percent subsidy in all eight districts under Rajshahi division so that they can boost farm-outputs with a reduced production cost.On behalf of a project titled “Agriculture Development Project of Rajshahi Division through Expansion of Modern Technology”, the machines will be distributed, reports BSS.
Dr SM Hasanuzzaman, Director of the project, said that the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) has been implementing the five-year project in 67 upazilas in the division at a cost of around Taka 147.03 crore since January, 2020.
He said promotion of growers’ level farm mechanisation is very important to boost crop outputs.
Cropping intensity can be increased to 250 percent even 400 percent from the existing 200 percent through reducing the existing time gap between the two crops after the best uses of the farm mechanisation.
Jahangir Alam Khan mentioned that large-scale adoption of farm mechanisation can be the best ways of facing the existing challenges related to agriculture in the drought-prone Barind area.
He viewed that the region’s agriculture is facing many challenges including climate change, labour shortage, irrigation water scarcity and increase in production cost. So, promotion of farm mechanisation has become indispensable to address the multiple problems.Jahangir Khan, Coordinator of Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) Project, called for promotion of more growers’ level farm mechanisation to boost crop outputs to feed the gradually increasing population amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
He, however, said the government has been giving more subsidies on farm machinery and forming committees to expedite mechanisation ventures.
In the region, farmers employ power tillers and tractors for land preparations in over ninety percent of the farmlands. Agricultural implements are in use in almost cent percent cases for crop protection and post-harvest milling.
But there is more work to be done in the fields of seed sowing, transplanting and harvesting crops – farm mechanisation.
Shafiul Alam Mukta, a farmer of Pirijpur village under Godagari upazila, said that mechanisation is an important tool for profitable and competitive agriculture and the need for mechanisation is increasing fast with the decrease of draft power.
He said without mechanisation it will not be possible to maintain multiple cropping patterns, which need quick land preparation, planting, weeding, harvesting and processing.
Mukta said the government has attached highest priority to the agriculture sector, adding that the farm-machinery distribution initiative is expected to contribute a lot towards boosting farm production.
He said that the farmers could successfully face labour-shortage and reduce harvesting cost of Boro paddy by 50 per cent using the combined harvester machines.
Farmers can harvest and clean Boro paddy of one acre land within an hour using a combined harvester machine at the cost of only Taka 3,000, which is 50 percent less than the cost of harvesting and cleaning the same by engaging labourers.
Besides, transplantation of rice seedlings using rice trans-planter machines allows the farmers to cover more land area in less time with less labour, reducing burden, achieving uniform spacing and plant density and placing of desired number of seedlings.
The DAE has been expanding use of rice trans-planter machines ensuring uniform depth of transplanted seedling.
Agriculturist Rustom Ali Mondal said that the present government has been working relentlessly for mechanizing the country’s farm sector fully.
“If we want to make agriculture profitable, we must use more machinery because the labour price is very high,” he added.