National, Front Page

Modern irrigation tech to boost crop yield

Published : 08 Feb 2021 09:59 PM | Updated : 09 Feb 2021 03:01 AM

The government is implementing the solar irrigation project at the farmer level to boost crop production through use of renewable energy towards reducing production cost and saving electricity.

 The cost of the project titled "Increase Crop Production through Expansion of Solar Energy and Water Saving Modern Technology" will be increased due to inclusion of new areas and other facilities. 

The main objective of this project is to bring affordable modern technology for irrigation to the doorsteps of farmers and encourage them to use renewable energy, an official of the Planning Commission said.

“Solar energy has been used for irrigation. It is expected that the irrigation cost incurred by the farmers will be reduced 25 to 30 percent,” he added.

The original cost of the project was Tk 65.70 crore, he said adding, the total expenditure has been increased by Tk 39.68 crore to Tk 105.39 crore. 

At the same time, the term is being extended for one year and till 2023, he mentioned. 

The Ministry of Agriculture is implementing the project, he said.

The first amendment proposal of the project will be placed at the next Executive Committee of National Economic Council (Ecnec) meeting, he added.

In this regard, Zakir Hossain Akand, Member (Secretary), Department of Agriculture, Water Resources and Rural Institutions of the Planning Commission in charge of the project, said, “This project will make a significant contribution to growth of crop production.”

Earlier, the Department of Agricultural Extension implemented a project to increase production and create employment for rural people through the expansion of agricultural engineering technology, sources said. 

The use of irrigation technology in the project has resulted in a 25 percent increase in irrigation area, a 30 percent reduction in irrigation cost and a 15 percent increase in production, according to an assessment report by the Implementation Monitoring and Evaluation Department (IMED). 

The project did not include the use of renewable energy for irrigation. The pilot project was undertaken to encourage farmers to use solar energy with water efficient modern technology for irrigation. 

Based on the results obtained through the project, large scale projects can be taken up in the country in the future.

Under the project, 105 solar surface irrigation and 512 underground irrigation canals will be made.

512 deep irrigations will be established. 100 solar irrigation and 1,040 solar light traps will be made. 

In addition, a farmer field School will be made for 612 Batch Farmer Training, 24 Batch Mechanic Training, 22 Batch Officer Training and 50 Batch irrigation related to farmer motivation.

Under the project, 1,109 Field Mosque Days and 4 National Workshops will be organized for imparting training on 512 irrigation related activities.

The reason given for the revision of the project is that due to lack of suitable land for exhibition in Khulna metropolitan area and increase in salinity in Kaliganj upazila of Satkhira. 

Besides, two upazilas in Khulna metro and Kaliganj were excluded from the project document.

On the other hand, Dhanbari, Madhupur, Tangail Sadar, Sakhipur, Nagpur and Gopalpur Upazila projects have been included in the document.

In addition, to irrigate all the lands in the command area of shallow tube wells, the number of irrigation canals will be increased from 200 meters to 500 meters and the number of underground irrigation canals will be increased as the project area is increased.