Eco-friendly pest management gains ground in Rajshahi

Farmers of the Barind region are being

encouraged and habituated to using eco-friendly pest management in their

transplanted paddy field.

During the current season, many farmers have adopted parching method which

contributes a lot towards lessening demands of chemical pesticides.

District and Upazila offices of Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE)

are extending technical support to the farmers for coping with this method.

Zaidur Rahman, a farmer of Karnahar village under Paba upazila, has

cultivated Aman paddy on 35 bigha of land. He has started using parching

method. Parching method has multidimensional benefits, he said.

Monzur-E-Mawla, Upazila Agriculture Officer, said light-trap and parching

are environmentally sound method for detecting harmful insects especially

Brown Plant Hopper (BPH).

Eco-friendly 'light-trap' method as an alternative to pesticides control

getting popular among the farmers at different villages as they are attaining

significant success in pest management on transplanted Aman paddy.

He said the low-cost method is helpful for maintaining ecological balance

in the fields. The farmers are extremely enthusiastic in using the method

because they are reaping benefit from it.

DAE officials have introduced the programme in the region to detect the

harmful insects in the Aman fields and use the insecticides accordingly to

save the crops.

We have set up 4,073 light traps and imparted training to more than 10,000

farmers in the region in Rajshahi, Naogaon, Natore and Chapainawabgonj

districts, said SM Mustafizur Rahman, Zonal Additional Director of DAE.

The farmers set the light-traps at night with kerosene lamp, charger light

or electric bulb and place a pot with detergent or kerosene mixed water under

the light. The light attracts the insects that die after falling into the

pot. If harmful insects are found, experts advise the farmers to adopt

effective pest control method.

Normally farmers apply costly insecticides in the paddy fields, killing

all the insects including the useful insects, and causing environmental

degradation. But when the harmful insects are detected through the light-trap

method, they can save money by applying a cheaper insecticide to kill that

particular pest as per the expert's suggestion.

Over 3.39 lakh hectares of land have been brought under Aman cultivation in

the region this year.

Agriculturist Rahman said low cost light-trap programme has been promoted

among the farmers for the last couple of years to manage pest effectively.

This year they are giving more emphasis on the programme.

DAE high officials recently visited different parts of the district to see

the management of BPH through the light trap method.

During September and October months, farmers face serious pest attack.

They need to spend a lot to get rid of all insects. With the light-trap and

parching they can control harmful insects and take proper pest control

measure, which is cheaper and environment-friendly, he added.

This method has reduced indiscriminate use of pesticides by 50 per cent and

the farmers are also learning to identify useful insects in the paddy fields.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)