Croplands in Rajshahi lose fertility for reckless use of salt
RAJSHAHI, Dec 30: Croplands in the district are losing fertilities due to reckless use of salt.
The salt application is increasing unabatedly due to reduction in the chemical fertiliser use. In order to reduce the use of chemical fertilisers, farmers in Rajshahi started applying organic fertilisers. But organic fertiliser production started declining. Many farmers shifted to using salt in croplands, according to field sources.
Agriculture officials said, the applying of salt in croplands makes a temporary good yield. But ultimately, the croplands lose fertility.
Increasing salinity is threatening the agriculture, and environmental degradation is occurring, experts said.
With modern technology-based farming increase, traditional farming is diminishing. Oxen-based farming has almost disappeared.
Over the last two decades, organic manure production in Rajshashi declined drastically. Agricultural lands were severely affected. At present, crop production is not increasing expectedly even after applying extra chemical fertilisers.
Farmers have increased quantities of salt use in farmlands. In all the upazilas of the district, earth and fertility-decaying salt is being used without considering the ultimate consequences.
Meanwhile, in the last few years, crop cultivation in neighbouring areas including Durgapur in Rajshahi has been doubled. The production has also increased. In some lands, four crops are being harvested.
But hoping higher yields, farmers are using salt, soda and other toxic powders in croplands. If the salt use continues, agricultural lands in the district will lose fertilities, agriculturists feared.
There are vast potato and onion farming lands in Daokandi, Hatkanpara, Joynagar, Ujankhalsi, Harirampur, Debipur, Ratugram, Nandigram, Dharampur, Shanpukuria, Belgharia, Sridharpur, Bakhtiyarpur and Shreepur. But farmers are not using organic fertilisers.
Various crops including potato and onion are grown by using only chemical fertilisers. The farmlands have lost productivity capacities.
A lecturer of agriculture of Dharampur College in the upazila Durgadas Pramanik said, the lands in the area are very fertile; but farmers do not use organic fertiliser, and chemical fertilisers are being used rampantly.
The fertile lands are gradually becoming barren, he pointed out.
According to him, salt is largely being used in leased lands. In these case, the lease holders are using salt without thinking about land fertilities.
Some farmers in the upazila said, they are using salt in large quantities in potato and onion cultivation.
Durgapur Upazila Agriculture Officer Moshiur Rahman said, farmers are using salt in their lands without knowing its impact.
Farmers were asked by filed agriculture officers not to use salt. But they did not pay heed to it. Strict action will be taken against salt users, and if necessary, will be punished by mobile court, he warned.
Deputy Director of the Department of Agricultural Extension Shamsul Haque said, "If anyone uses salt, action must be taken against him."