From the eighties onwards, agriculture in Rangpur region gradually got a touch of modernity. At present about 30 types of modern machinery are being used in agriculture.
For the sake of science, the era of traditional usages of plow-yoke, ladder and oxen is now coming to an end. Modern plows, tractors and power tillers have taken that place. Technology is changing the agricultural landscape of Rangpur region. This technology is being added at every level from the seedbed to the harvest.
Land cultivation, weeding, fertilizing, pesticide spraying, paddy harvesting, threshing and drying are all done by machine. As a result, the cost and time of cultivation is less and the production has increased many times more than before. Engine-driven shallow machines and electric pumps have been invented to irrigate the land.
The use of modern science has also led to the discovery of drum cider (seed sowing machine), power thresher (foot threshing machine), grading machine, urea fertilizer application and many more. These include homemade machinery as well as imported heavy machinery.
The government also wants to increase mechanization. For this, the government is giving 70 percent subsidy to buy some special high capacity equipment. Using technology saves money, labor and time.
In this regard, the Department of Agriculture says, the market for agricultural machinery is growing regularly. Currently the demand for tractors is increasing and the demand for power tillers is declining. On the other hand, the demand for threshers has decreased with the advent of combined harvesters. Everything is changing over time.
Combine harvester for modernization of agriculture has made the work of farmers easier. According to the Agriculture Department, this special device has reached the hands of some farmers in Rangpur region. Anwar Hossain, a farmer of 24 Hazari area of Rangpur City Corporation, said that modern machinery has increased the speed of agriculture.
In fact, they have lost to modern science. Before, it used to cost three thousand to three and a half thousand Tk to cut and thresh wheat in 60 acres of land. Now the cost of cutting paddy with combine harvester machine is only 600 to 700 Tk.
Another farmer, Jinnat Ali, said that even a decade ago, the farmers of Rangpur were lagging behind in agriculture. All the farmers used to produce crops depending on the traditional method. At present modern machinery has made the work of the farmer easier.
He further said that before everything was done in permanent labor. Farmers have to face a lot of difficulties in sowing seeds, planting seedlings and harvesting crops at certain times of the season. At that time the wages of agricultural workers increased abnormally. Sometimes agricultural workers are not available even with double wages. This reduces the yield due to late planting of seeds and increases the attack of insects and pests. Now all the work is being expedited using the machinery.
Concerned parties say that after the catastrophic floods of 1987, agricultural mechanization became important in the country. If the import of agricultural machinery is made easier in that year, the import of power tiller will increase.
Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute developed several instrument models. Private sector entrepreneurs also started coming into the business of this sector. However, in the last 10 years, this sector has advanced rapidly.
According to experts, the use of modern machinery has led to food self-sufficiency. Now more crops are being obtained by cultivating less land. Although some of the equipment was procured through domestic importers, most of it was invented by the Agricultural Research Council.
The work of marketing and making them easily available has already started. Increasing crop production through farm mechanization - Phase II project is trying to popularize them through demonstration of modern machinery at farmer level.
At the same time 70 percent subsidy is being given to the farmers or farmer group interested in purchasing machinery through this project.