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23 March, 2019 00:00 00 AM
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Tangail farmers take to perching for pest control

Our Correspondent, Tangail
Tangail farmers take to perching for pest control

Instead of insecticides, perching has become the new mantra for pest management during the Boro farming season in 12 upazilas of Tangail district.

As per the innovative method, dried bamboo and branches are set up in farmlands as perches for birds that eat insects harmful to crops. African dhaincha is also sowed on top of these perches.

According to the department of agriculture extension (DAE), the system is more effective, economic and eco-friendly than insecticides and it helps in harvesting of additional seven to 15 per cent of crops.

A DAE source in Tangail said the department has set a target to bring about 170,623 hectares of land under Boro farming with a production target of 717,760 metric tons of rice during the current season in 12 upazilas of the district. The target of farming has been extended to 171,702 hectares.

Boro rice is the main crop of the district. However, it is costly as the farmers have to invest a lot of money for irrigation, tilling, seedlings, transplantation, nursing as well as using fertilizers and insecticides.

At present, farmers have become aware of the harmful effects of for soil, crops, environment and humans too. Therefore, they have become interested in pest management by using perching.

Mahmudul Hasan, agriculture officer of Madhupur, informed that the birds sit on the perches and eat harmful insects and pests. The birds also take rest by sitting on the perches, he added. The officer said that beside dried branches, bamboo and African dhaincha, T’s made of branches, bamboo sticks and plastic sticks are used as perching.

DAE trains the farmers and hosts a perching festival for spreading awareness. The farmers too benefit economically by applying the eco-friendly system.

According to agriculturists, there are two types of perching—dead and live perching. Dried branches, bamboo and its branches used to make T’s are called dead perching. Sowing of dhaincha is called live perching. Live perching has two benefits: The birds eat harmful insects siting on the branches and nitrogen is generated by the granules that grow on the roots of the dhaincha. The nitrogen is then used as fertilizer.

Farmers Kobir Hossain and Habibur Rahman of Koyra village in Dhanbari upazila said they used to apply insecticides two-three years ago. However, they sometimes failed to procure the insecticides due to financial crunch. Moreover, adulterated insecticides also failed to have the desired effects sometimes. The regular use of chemicals for pest control also damaged their crops. But all these problems were mitigated when farmers started using the new method, making it immensely popular, they added.

MahbuburRahman, AO of Dhanbari upazila, said paddy is normally affected with “yellow rice stem borer, brown grasshopper, rice green leaf hopper and ledapoka”. But birds sitting atop the perches eat the insects and the crops become safe from pest attacks, he added.

DAE (Tangail) deputy director Abdur Razzaque said 357 field level officers were deployed in 12 upazilas to help the farmers with the perching system, use of balanced fertilizers and other technical knowhow. This has helped in bringing 82 per cent of Boro fields under the perching system this year, he added.

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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