Noted local and international agricultural scientists have encouraged the growers of the country to use balanced fertiliser for crop production, as its use would increase crop output by 8-14 per cent and will save over Tk 20,000 crore yearly.
The recommendations came at the time when the government is providing Tk 30,000 crore subsidies annually for fertiliser import, amid commodity price inflation witnessed in the international market. The amount was Tk 8,000 crore in the past.
Experts made the call at a discussion on ‘fertiliser policy dialogue’, organised by the Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council (BARC) and held at its auditorium on Tuesday. Agriculture Secretary Wahida Akhter spoke at the function as chief guest.
The key note paper presented by Professor Dr Richard W Bell, Murdoch University of Australia read, “The use of balanced fertiliser in line with the recommendations made by the BARC would enhance rice production up to 75 lakh tonnes a year, and it will generally make a monetary profit of Tk 20,504 crore annually.”
The growers must be conscious on using balanced fertiliser instead of over use of urea, as the application of balanced fertiliser would raise crop output significantly and also save money, the agro-scientist elaborated.
To curb frequent use of urea, Agriculture Secretary Wahida Akhter said, “The government has decided to raise import of Di-ammonium phosphate (DAP). Raising of DAP import will reduce wastage of urea and also to reduce the fertiliser import cost.”
She added, “Raising the use of DAP by one kg would save 400 gm of urea, and there would be no need of triple super phosphate (TSP).
“The lack of awareness at the grassroots level regarding this fact causes a huge loss of several thousand crore to public exchequer annually.”
She said the growers should to be motivated with using balanced fertiliser in crop cultivation by using regional fertiliser recommendation based on soil test, she told the function.
“The government is implementing a project titled ‘Nutrient Management for Diversified Cropping in Bangladesh’ on research and management of limited balanced fertiliser using,” she said.
The discussion was chaired by BARC Executive Chairman Dr Sheikh Mohammad Bakhtiar. BARC Director Dr M Bakhtiar Hossain gave the welcome address.
Among others, Vice Chancellor of Bangladesh Agricultural University Professor Dr Lutful Hasan, Krishi Gobeshona Foundation (KGF)’s Executive Director Dr Jibon Krishna Biswas, Director General of the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) Badal Chandra Biswas, Bangladesh Agricultural Development Corporation (BADC) Chairman M Abdullah Sajjad, Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture M Ruhul Amin Talukder, and eminent media personality Shaikh Siraj also attended.