Sandbar cropping can enhance food production
08 December 2015, Nirapad News: Agricultural experts at a workshop today called for scaling up sandbar cropping across the country for enhancing food production and eradicating poverty.
The sandbar cropping, if done through a national policy, will contribute to national production, they said while addressing the workshop titled ‘Dissemination of pumpkin cultivation technology on sandbar’ at Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) at Farmgate in the capital.
They stressed on GO-NGO collaboration for successful expansion of sandbar cropping across the country. DAE and Practical Action (PA), a UK-based international development agency, jointly organized the programme.
Director General (DG) of DAE Hamidur Rahman attended as the chief guest at the programme, which was chaired by Country Director of PA Bangladesh Hasin Jahan.
Director (Admin and Finance) of DAE Sirajul Islam, Additional Director (Crops Wing) of DAE Iman Ali Sardar, Head of Extreme Poverty Programme of PA Nazmul Islam Chowdhury and others spoke on the occasion.
The DAE DG said “Our arable land is reducing while our population is increasing. It is urgently needed to expand the sandbar cropping across the country to meet the increasing food demand”.
In her presentation, Hasin Jahan said, “Arable land is decreasing at the rate 1 per cent per annum. Some 1.8 lakh hectare of barren land–from Teesta Barrage to Jamuna Bridge-could be transformed into productive land. More than 700 rivers get dried up for half of the year”.
“Around 18-20 million extreme poor are in Bangladesh. About 7-10 per cent of them live on embankments and chars. More than 40 per cent people in Bangladesh are less than age of 18. Unfortunately, young generation is losing interest in agriculture”, she said.
The PA Country Director added, “The young generation could be capacitated as trained workforce in agricultural production and innovative agro-enterprises. A new chapter could be opened by introducing sandbar cropping at the transitional land”.
PA, under a project, involved extreme poor people in sandbar cropping in Rangpur and Kurigram, and found the initiative success in food production as well as ending poverty.
At the workshop, a working group comprising high officials of DAE and PA was formed to work out a plan on how to scale up the sandbar cropping jointly across the country. The committee would submit its report by December 30.