'over the past four decades, the Institute has developed 543 new varieties of cereals, tubers, oilseeds, pulses and other crops, and has also developed 505 technologies to the benefit of Bangladesh’s farmers'
In oriental farming practices, agriculture has long been a back breaking laborious job. Not anymore. Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI), a premier seat of agro-research in the country, has developed many farm machineries and production technologies for the ease of farmers.
Take the BARI-developed urea super granule (USG) applicator as an example. Urea commonly sprayed by hand in rice lands in Bangladesh but deep placement of USG (popularly known as Guti Urea) into puddles enhances the soil's nitrogen absorption capacity and gives farmers upto three times better results. But placing USG is laborious and a back-breaking job. BARI’s Farm Machinery and Postharvest Process Engineering Department came up with a simple USG applicator technology so that farmers can now apply urea granules with ease.
BARI on Sunday organized a display of its farm technologies, machineries, and other post harvest processes that helped Bangladesh’s farming community to graduate from traditional laborious farming practices to modern farming practices. The display held at BARI Gazipur headquarters had an array of new technologies like potato planters, hot water treatment for fruits, solar irrigation systems, and hydroponic farming systems.
Talking to Dhaka Tribune, the farm machinery division’s senior scientific officer, Dr Muhammad Arshadul Hoque, said it’s encouraging that over 18,000 units of USG applicators have been sold out and farmers are benefitting by using the simple machine. He displayed how a simple hot water treatment technology helps give perishable fruits a better shelf life. If such technologies and practices are maintained, he said traders would no longer need to spray poisonous chemicals to preserve mangoes or bananas for a longer period of time.
BARI Director General, Dr Abul Kalam Azad, and one of its directors, Dr Md Lutfur Rahman, said over the past four decades, the Institute has developed 543 new varieties of cereals, tubers, oilseeds, pulses and other crops, and has also developed 505 technologies to the benefit of Bangladesh’s farmers.
Agriculture Secretary Md Nasiruzzaman said, thanks to the development of high yielding varieties, technologies, and farm machineries, Bangladesh’s vegetable output has increased threefold over the past one decade and yearly production of maize has reached 38 lakh metric tons now, from just five lakh MT back in 2006.
Speaking at a discussion organized on the sidelines of the farm technology display, 94-year old national emeritus scientist, Dr Kazi M Badruddoza, made a fervent call to the government to provide agricultural scientists with better pay packages, incentives, and rewards to stop brain drain and help the country’s farm sector prosper further.
Agriculture Minister Dr Muhammad Abdur Razzaque, who also took interest in BARI-developed varieties, technologies and machineries, told the scientists present there to properly transfer the successes achieved in laboratories to the farmers’ fields. Assuring them of better facilities and opportunities, the agriculturist-turned-minister, asked them to help Bangladesh become self-sufficient in maize production.
Thanks to growing feed demands driven by a burgeoning fish and poultry industry, Bangladesh now requires over five million MT of maize a year, and over a fifth of that requirement is still being met by imports.