The Department of Agricultural Extension has introduced a rice seedling transplanter machine in Phulbari upazila of Kurigram for transplantation of Boro rice seedlings and mechanisation of agriculture.

Deputy commissioner of Kurigram Md Rezaul Karim launched Boro rice seedling transplantation using a rice seedling transplanter under a pilot project in village Bestodeb in Kashipur union of the upazila on Friday afternoon as chief guest.

Deputy director of the Kurigram DAE agriculturist Md Manjurul Haque presided over the function arranged under its Agriculture Incentive Programme for 2020/2021 for local farmers.

Phulbari upazila chairman Golam Rabbani Sarker, upazila nirbahi officer Tauhidur Rahman, upazila agriculture officer agriculturalist Mahbubur Rashid and farmer Manindra Nath Roy spoke as special guests.

Agriculturist Haque said that 50 beneficiary farmers would get the benefits of transplantation of Boro rice seedlings on three bigha of their crop lands each using rice transplanter machines during this Boro season.

Transplantation of Boro seedlings using rice transplanter machines allows farmers to cover more land area in less time with less labour, reducing burden, achieving uniform spacing and plant density and placing the desired number of seedlings.

‘Rice transplanter machines ensure uniform depth of transplanted seedlings that recover fast and vigorously to ensure healthier and faster growth of tender plants and increase 20 per cent Boro rice yield and reduce farming cost by 20 per cent,’ he said.

Agriculturalist Rashid narrated benefits of using rice transplanter machines, adoption of which reduces the time between crop harvesting and next crop planting due to increasing crop intensity under changed climatic patterns.

‘Land preparation, transplantation of Boro rice seedlings and harvest of rice are expensive and time-consuming operations for successful rice cultivation as labour cost accounts the biggest input cost for Boro rice production,’ he added.

The chief guest suggested all concerned for making best use of rice seedling transplanter machines to enhance Boro rice production at reduced costs under the changed climatic conditions to ensure national food security.

‘Mechanisation of agricultural activities has become a crucial need of the time as industrialisation, job switching of agricultural labourers and high labour wages have become bigger threats to sustainable rice production and food security,’ he added.

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