Chemical treatments of winter vegetables
The country's agricultural output has massively increased over the past decade, thanks to the proactive agricultural policy adopted by the government. Still, we need more agricultural production for the coming years when population will increase following the simple demographic rule. The thrust for increase should be not only for production of grains but also for vegetables, fruits, fish and livestock.
In the wake of big-scale increase in agriculture produce, it is good to note that in Rangpur, the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) has set an all-time record target of producing over 9.08-lakh tonnes of winter vegetables in 40,375 hectares of land for all five districts in Rangpur agriculture region. Last year the target was 7.86 lakh tonnes of vegetables from 37,729 hectares of land for the region.
This initiative to set a projected target is effective to meet increased demands. But for increasing agricultural production the country has to increase the acreage also. But one factor must be taken into serious attention. Vegetables produced must be safe for consumption. Vegetable farmers use various kinds of chemical fertilisers for better growth of plants. Use of chemical fertilisers is not bad in itself, excess of it is. But there are many farmers who, for more profit, do not hesitate to use excess of chemical fertilizers to increase the volume of production within a short time like poultry farmers who inject antibiotics and steroids to poultry chickens beyond the level of permission.
This overindulgence use of chemicals for production of foods that we consume for survival has been causing innumerable public health problems in Bangladesh. The conscious consumers in Bangladesh virtually always remain in a state of panic because of this situation. That is why the DAE officials must keep in mind the concern of public health while they take programmes of increasing all agricultural production.
They must provide farmers the necessary knowledge of appalying fertilisers to their produces. In Bangladesh vegetable farmers often harvest and market their produces just after a few days of spraying pesticides which remain all intact on the produces. Most people, including the unsuspecting consumers of course, invite health danger by consuming such vegetables.
Bangladesh must increase agricultural produces as it is a necessity and the concerned authorities must also be serious about the risk that may come through rampant use of chemicals in growing these produces.