Wednesday, August 8, 2012
Bangladesh: Farmers use too much fertilizer, research says
A farmers’ participatory research in Bangladesh on site-specific nutrient management found that farmers use more fertilizer than necessary, resulting in added costs but not necessarily better production.
It established that farmers use more fertilizer than recommended by the BRRI and soil tests. The excess fertilizer costs an extra BDT 5025 per hectare, but is not resulting in more profit.
The findings were based on crop seasons aman 2011 and boro 2012. Also based on these two seasons, the farmers drew 'fertility maps' on which they determined optimum fertilizer use for various soil fertility gradients in each village. The farmers will also use the results of the next aman and boro seasons to further evaluate the practice.
The results of the participatory research, conducted in 65 farmers’ plots at 11 villages in the Jessore Sadar, Monirampur, Jhenaidah Sadar, and Kaligonj upazilas, was consolidated in two workshops held recently.
The study was conducted under the Cereal Systems Initiative for South Asia project in Bangladesh (CSISA-BD), funded by USAID. It aimed to motivate farmers to use optimum fertilizer in rice production.
M.A. Mannan, additional director for the Jessore Region, commented on the approach being a good way to reduce fertilizer cost and requested its dissemination to other farmers and extension workers via the CSISA-Bangladesh project.
The workshops were held on 23 and 26 July in Jhenaidah and Jessore districts, respectively, with 69 farmer-researchers attending.
These were facilitated by A.K.M. Ferdous, cropping systems specialist; Ireen Sultana, agriculture development officer; and Md. Zahirul Islam and Md. Mozaharul Islam of the CSISA-Bangladesh project.
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