Friday, May 28, 2004

A village of environment conscious farmers

Farmers in Sikandarpur village in Jessore are being doubly benefited. They are earning more money by producing vegetables at lesser costs while protecting the environment also.

They use Ferromon Trap, a simple device innovated by Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI), to kill insects instead of applying insecticides, harmful for the environment.

Dr Nurul Alam, co-ordinator of BARI's Entomology Department, supervises of the great efforts of the farmers.

According to FAO (UN Food and Agricultural Organisation), Jessore was one of the three regions in Bangladesh where pesticides were used excessively earlier. Pesticides were used in brinjal fields up to 80 times in a season, according to officials of Bagherpara upazila Agriculture Extension Department (AED).

But the scene is different now. They do not use pesticide.

"It is a revolution", said Mohammad Alauddin, a Block Supervisor of AED while talking to this correspondent last week.

"This (use of Ferromon Trap) increases yield as the trap also kills pesticide-resistant insects," Alauddin said.

The tool is very much user-friendly and involves virtually no cost compared to that for pesticide.

The trap is made with a plastic pot. A medicine named 'Sex-Ferromon' is kept inside it.

"The smell of the medicine attracts pests and insects. They fly into it and die within seconds," said Laxman Chandra, president of Krishi Prajukti Bastabayan Kendra (KPBK), a centre for application of agriculture technology.

Union Parishad member and farmer Anisul Islam said pesticides worth at least Tk 400 were needed to control pest attack on brinjals on one bigha land, he said. Farmers are now saving the amount.

BARI distributed one thousand Ferromon Traps this year among brinjal cultivators free of cost to popularise the unique method.

KPBK members said the method is being used on all vegetable fields at Sikandarpur village.

Magura AED Deputy Director Osiul Islam when contacted said, BARI's new method will play a pioneering role in protecting environment while increasing the yield.

- Hossain Seraj, back from Sikandarpur (Jessore), Daily Star

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