The government has taken initiatives to increase crop production by converting a one-crop-land into a three-crop-land through improving the irrigation system.
For this, the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) has approved a project of “Padma river water supply and expansion of irrigation in Barind area” by double lifting method to increase crop production in Barind area of Rajshahi at a cost of Tk 548 crore.
Through the implementation of the project, crop production will increase by an additional 1.40 lakh metric tons annually.
The objective of the project is to develop a modern and sustainable irrigation system to produce additional crops by expanding irrigation in Barind area along with optimal use of surface water in the project area, prevention of wastage of irrigation water, increase in recharge or reserve of underground water.
AKM FazlulHaque, Member (Secretary) of the Planning
Commission's Department of Agriculture, Water Resources and Rural Institutions, said that if the project is implemented, the irrigation problem in the area will be solved.
Crops cannot be grown in seasons other than monsoons, he said, adding that if this is implemented there will be three harvests. As the crop production increases, the country’s food crisis will be reduced, he mentioned.
Professor Chowdhury Sarwar Jahan of Geology and Mining Department of Rajshahi University checked the feasibility before approving this project.
According to his survey report, there is scarcity of groundwater in the project area. For this, surface water from Sarengpurpoint of Padma river has to be transferred to Dudhai Canal, 18 km away through pipeline.
The report recommended storing this water in 10 re-dug canals. Apart from this, Sarwar Jahan opined that by installing 160 LLPs and underground irrigation canals, it will be possible to increase the production if the canal water is taken to the cultivated land.
However, the purpose of undertaking the project is to take 10,250 hectares of Padma river water through irrigation. This will convert one crop land into three crop land. As a result, an additional 1.40 lakh metric tons of crops will be produced annually.
At present surface water is used in 2,012 hectares of land in the Barind area. There are plans to increase it to 12,262 hectares through irrigation. Experts think that it is possible to reduce the pressure of underground water through this.
Through this project, the water capacity will be increased by re-excavating the 120 km Maza canal in the Barendra area of Rajshahi.
950 farmers will be trained through this project. It will cost Tk 10.93 lakh. Crop land is likely to be damaged while implementing the project. For this, the cost of compensation for the crops, homesteads, trees and other structures in the area of 3.60 lakh square kilometers has been estimated at Tk 5.33 crore.
Godagari, Tanor and Pabaupazilas of Rajshahi district are located in the northwest part of Bangladesh. Relatively dry climate, high temperature, erratic rainfall and scarcity of surface water are the main features of the area. The area is usually cultivated with seedlings of Aman, Aush and small-scale rabi crops. Sometimes, due to the late onset of the monsoon season, the yield of Aman rice is disastrous.
Apart from that, supplementary irrigation is required in case of drought during the flowering period of rice. Aman paddy is damaged in that area if this supplementary irrigation is not given. Similarly, lack of timely irrigation disrupts the production of other rabi crops including wheat. As a result, crop intensity decreases. However, it is possible to produce crops throughout the year by using Padma river water for irrigation.