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Herbicide can save Tk 7,000cr crops annually.

A proper application of herbicides adopting recommended weed management methods could substantially increase food production along with saving huge crops worth over Taka 7,000 crore annually, reports BSS. "An effective weed management side by side with adopting conservation agriculture technologies remarkably increases crop output," said noted Agriculturist Dr. Md. Abdul Mazid, who got the Independence Award 2018 Medal (food security) this year. While talking to BSS, Dr Mazid, a former chief scientific officer and head of agronomy division of Bangladesh Rice Research Institute, made these observations citing various national and international level research findings. In Bangladesh, he said unrestricted growth of weeds causes damage up to 37 percent crop yields with 32.2 percent loss in food crops, including 41.3 percent in cereals, 31.2 percent in pulses, 40.8 percent in oilseeds and 39.2 percent in fibre crops.

"We can save huge crops by improving knowledge of extension officers and herbicide traders to disseminate latest climate smart technologies to the farmers in group approach to effective weed management methods and safer use of herbicides," he said. Dr Mazid also discussed wide range of topics on the extent of crop damage due to the growth of different kinds of weeds depending on land types and seasons and topographical locations of the crop zone. He discussed scientific knowledge about classification of weeds, effective weed control methods, herbicide mode of action, herbicide formulation and its safer use, rate and timing of application, calibration of sprayers, nozzle types and determination of spray volume.

The farmers would get maximum benefits by applying herbicides at pre-emergence and post emergence periods of weeds adopting the cropping system-based weed management methods both in dry-land farming and wet-land farming of crops. Dr Mazid put importance on the herbicide volume to be sprayed for specific land area, utility of herbicide label, Material Safety Data Sheet, safety requirements in spraying herbicides and personal protective equipments required in spraying process. "The farmers must adopt the effective ways of using herbicides for weed control. Otherwise it might be dangerous for human and soil health," he said suggesting the use of recommended rate and safer use of herbicides. Dr Mazid preferred popularizing the conservation agriculture technologies for ensuring an effective weed management in the crop fields to get increased yield rates.

"The weeds should be controlled safely and timely using herbicides despite labour shortage during peak period to increase crop production at a reduced cost as the depth of knowledge about herbicide is now at basic level in Bangladesh," he added. He cautioned repeated use of same herbicides on the same piece of land every year might result in the development of herbicide resistant weeds. "Use of safe herbicides has become a need of the time globally to increase crop output for attaining sustainability in agriculture and ensuring national food security amid adverse impacts of climate change," Dr Mazid said.

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Publication:The News Today (Dhaka, Bangladesh)
Date:Aug 5, 2018
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