Farmers use eco-friendly vermicomposting instead of chemical fertilizers and sex pheromone traps, yellow glue traps, net houses, and other organic pesticides instead of chemical pesticides in Rampur union under Trishal upazila of Mymensingh Dhaka Tribune

The Department of Agricultural Extension has adopted the integrated pest management, or IPM, process which is used to solve pest problems while minimizing risks to people and the environment

The Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) is introducing farmers in Trishal upazila of Mymensingh to organic farming methods for the cultivation of winter vegetables during this year’s Rabi season.

The DAE argues that organic vegetables have more demand in the marketplace and are being sold at higher prices than vegetables cultivated using chemical fertilizers and pesticides. With organic farming, farmers not only avoid chemicals and pesticides but also protect the ecological balance.

To this end, the department adopted the integrated pest management, or IPM, a process which is used to solve pest problems while minimizing risks to people and the environment. IPM can be used to manage all kinds of pests anywhere–in urban, agricultural, and wildland or natural areas.

The system is currently being implemented in 10 upazilas across the country. Of them, Rampur union of Trishal upazila has been selected as a control village for the experimental cultivation of organic winter vegetables this season.

There, farmers are using eco-friendly vermicomposting instead of chemical fertilizers and sex pheromone traps, yellow glue traps, net houses, and other organic pesticides instead of chemical pesticides. All of which are being provided free of cost by the department of agricultural extension along with hands-on training on organic farming.

Shoaib Ahmed, agriculture officer of Trishal upazila, said 500 farmers grouped into 25 teams with each team having 20 farmers, including eight women, are cultivating winter vegetables using organic farming techniques on 100 acres of land. “The farmers from Rampur union are cultivating winter vegetables including tomato, cauliflower, cabbage, aubergine, cucumber and gourd.”

Visiting the organic vegetable village in Rampur union, this correspondent learned that each and every farmer there profited from cultivating organic vegetables.

And not just Rampur union, fruit and vegetable growers from Balipara, Trishal, Bailor, Dhanikhola and Kanthal unions are also observing these organic methods and becoming interested in the eco-friendly farming techniques.

Md Shahidullah, a farmer from Rampur union says he is cultivating broccoli on one acre. “Using organic fertilizer and pesticides is much cheaper compared to its chemical alternatives. On top of that, the price of organic vegetables is usually higher in the market.”

Farmer Aklima Akhter of Gafakuri said: “This is the first time I am cultivating organic vegetables. The women in my village are also getting into healthy agriculture using organic fertilizers as we are being provided necessary assistance from the agriculture office free of cost.”

Jalal Miya, another farmer, said: “We are getting very good yields despite not using any chemical fertilizers. I am avoiding damaging my farmland as well as the environment as a whole.”



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