Friday, 24 September, 2021

Barind region sees prospect of promoting efficient irrigation

RAJSHAHI: Prospect of promoting efficient irrigation to the farmlands is very bright after implementing a project for expansion of subsurface irrigation systems for the first time in the drought-prone Barind area here.

Subsurface pipeline is being touted as the proven means of ensuring efficient irrigation in cropland as it can save at least 40 percent irrigation water.

Officials opined that the initiative will contribute a lot towards lessening the gradually mounting pressure on the groundwater in the dried area in the years to come.

The system has also contributed to the diversification process in the project covering areas, they said, reports BSS.

Mazharul Islam, 48, of Daldali village under Volahat upazila, is now happy over to irrigate his farmland with subsurface piped water for the last couple of years.

In the system, “we need less water for irrigation as the extent of wastes is less than the conventional open-drain irrigation system,” he added.

As part of efforts to make irrigation system more efficient, Barind Multipurpose Development Authority (BMDA) has implemented the project titled ‘Enhancement of Irrigation Efficiency through Construction of Sub-surface Irrigation Channel’.

BMDA, the ever-largest irrigation providing state-owned entity in the country’s northwest region, has implemented the Taka 136.16-crore project in 25 upazilas of Rajshahi, Naogaon and Chapainawabganj districts recently.

“We’ve installed 1,080 kilometres upvc pipelines and 216 kilometres flexible pipes through saving agricultural lands under the four-year project,” said Engineer Shahidur Rahman, director of the project, while talking to BSS here on Thursday.

More than 3,000 farmers were imparted training on how to properly handle and maintain the constructed infrastructures so that they can derive total benefits of the project.

Engineer Rahman said the installed pipelines have expanded irrigation area to around 32,400 hectares of land contributing a lot towards cropping yield around 1.62 lakh tonnes on an average per year.

Highlighting aspects of the initiative, Jahangir Alam Khan, Coordinator of Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) Project, said efficiency in irrigation has become a necessity for reducing the misuse of water alongside decreasing agriculture production cost.

He opined that the conventional irrigation method has the problem of misusing water triggering pressure on both ground and surface water posing a threat to ecology.

So, some major parameters like water distribution system, irrigation scheme management system, water marketing system, sources of water, source of energy, Alternate Wetting Drying (AWD) and types of pumps should be brought under consideration, he said.

Khan mentioned that time has come for more promotion of underground canals to improve irrigation efficiency, he added.

With the initiative of the IWRM project, more than 12.58 lakh community people of 2.66 lakh households are being motivated and encouraged for using surface water for irrigation purposes besides farming various less-irrigation consuming crops to reduce the pressure on the underground water.

The project is being implemented by DASCOH Foundation in around 1,280 drought-hit villages of 39 Union Parishads (Ups) and three municipalities of eight upazilas in Rajshahi, Naogaon and Chapainawabganj districts since 2015, said Jahangir Khan.