Adoption of the eco-friendly perching pest management method is expanding while farming Boro and Aman paddy enabling the farmers to reap huge benefits in Rangpur agriculture region.
Officials of the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) said farmers are applying both live and dead perching methods to save growing rice plants from pest attacks and get better rice yield at reduced costs for reducing application of insecticides.
"Expanded adoption of the eco-friendly perching method in combating pest attacks on growing Boro and Aman rice plants is bringing enormous benefits to farmers every year," said Additional Director of DAE for Rangpur region Agriculturist Aftab Hossain.
"Adopting the perching method, farmers erect bamboo poles or tree branches on rice fields at a particular distance so that birds could perch on those and eat pests which are harmful to rice plants to protect the crop reducing use of pesticides," he said.
During this Boro season, the DAE has fixed a target of bringing 5,07,050 hectares of land under Boro rice cultivation, and of them, 5,06,525 hectares of cultivated land area under the perching method of pest management.
As the process continues, farmers have already set up bamboo poles or branches of trees on 3,84,860 hectares of growing Boro rice fields till Thursday to bring under the perching method in the region.
Following the motivational and training activities conducted by the DAE, the farmers are expanding adoption of the low-cost, effective and eco-friendly perching method in saving both Boro and Aman rice plants from pests' attack to get more hygienic rice.
Deputy Director of the DAE for Rangpur Obaidur Rahman Mandal said random uses of pesticides create threats to the ecosystems causing extinction of many indigenous species of fishes, beneficial insects and birds.
"The process of adopting the perching method will continue in growing Boro rice till the next month-end to increase production of more hygienic rice alongside minimising cost of insecticide," Mandal added.
Farmers Abdur Rahim, Faruk Ahmed and Nurul Kabir of different villages in Rangpur said they are adopting the perching method which helps produce more hygienic rice minimising cost of insecticides alongside saving the environment.
Farmer Ariful Haque Batul of village Najirdigar in Rangpur Sadar said birds perch on the poles and eat harmful pests on the growing rice plants in his crop fields.
"Following huge motivational activities conducted by the DAE, farmers know how to protect growing rice plants from pest attack and save money using the perching method as application of the method has really been productive and profitable," he said.
Farmers Amenur Rahman, Mamun Ahmed, Anwar Hossain and Golam Mostafa of Gangachara upazila in Rangpur said birds perch on the poles on their growing rice fields to eat insects protecting the tender rice plants to ensure healthier growth.