POST TIME: 9 March, 2018 00:00 00 AM
River water irrigation gains popularity among farmers

River water irrigation gains popularity among farmers

RAJSHAHI: River water irrigation has started gaining popularity among the farmers in high Barind tract, lessening gradually mounting pressure on underground water, reports BSS. Haider Ali, 43, of Bhatopara village under Godagari Upazila, is now happy over irrigation by using river water in the current Irri-boro season. Shariful Islam, 51, another farmer of Baliaghata village, said river water contains humus which is important for soil fertility as well as boosting crop yield. “We are so much happy over getting chances of irrigating using river water round the year,” he added. Like them, river water irrigation has made more than 6,500 farmers happy in the high Barind area as their dependence on deep tube wells and rainfall has been reduced to some extent.

Farmers set up 21 pumps in seven points of Padma, Mohananda and Punarbhaba rivers in Rajshahi and Chapainawabganj districts, lifting river water and supplying those to the farmlands through 41,050 feet long pipelines.

Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) Project established the infrastructures with financial support of Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation- SDC in order to make the farmers habituated to irrigating their farmlands with river-water.

DASCOH Foundation and Swiss Red Cross have jointly been implementing the IWRM project in 35 UPs and four pourasabhas in the two northern districts since 2015.

Ali Azam Towhid, Chairman of Matikata Union Parishad, said many of the hand-driven tube wells become out of order during dry season when the deep tube-wells remain functioning.

He said the odd situation poses a serious threat to the living and livelihood condition of the people particularly the poor and ethnic minority.  So, there is no alternative but to use river water to protect the aquifer.

Referring to various research findings, Professor Chowdhury SarwarJahan of Department of Geology and Mining 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 Irri-boro every year.