Development of alternate cropping pattern incorporating kenaf at char land areas in two selected district of Bangladesh
A field trail was conducted in farmer’s field at two project sites at Kurigram and Gaibandha during 2017 to develop an alternate cropping pattern: Potato-Kenaf-T.aman rice against Potato-Jute-T.aman rice cropping pattern at char land for increase the profit of farmers. In the improved cropping pattern, yield of potato, kenaf and T.aman were 24.32, 3.52 and 4.43 tha-1, respectively at kurigram site, while 23.65, 3.42 and 4.55 tha-1, respectively at Gaibandha site. In the existing cropping pattern, yield of potato, jute and T.aman rice were 14.80, 2.35 and 4.13 tha-1, respectively at kurigram site, whereas 19.76, 2.55 and 4.30 tha-1, respectively at Gaibandha site. Gross return and gross margin were detected as higher in improved cropping pattern over existing cropping pattern.
Key words: Cropping pattern, Potato-Kenaf-T. Aman rice, Char land.
Char farmers follow wide variants of cropping patterns across areas and time, given the high incidence of natural calamities and the different necessities that arise. They cannot cultivate round the year for floods that inundate their lands almost half of the year. Consequently, some of them are engaged in relay cropping and/or mixed cropping. Farmers generally arrange the cultivation of their crops according to the patterns, based on their respective necessity and demands, and the experience, skills and knowledge level, in addition to other factors like technical feasibility. Similar to other parts of the country, cropping systems in char areas are predominantly rice based and aman rice varieties are most commonly cultivated. Although Bangladesh is nearly self-sufficient in rice production, but studies exposed that continuous rice cultivation reduces production of non-rice crops, erodes biodiversity and creates nutritional imbalance (Hussain et al., 2001; Rahman, 2010). After harvesting rice, jute is usually grown by farmers in the char areas during kharif 1 season. It is observed that during jute growing season, a lot of land in char areas remains fallow due to unsuitability of land for jute production. Because stem rot, die back and other similar diseases occurs severely in jute field. Hence kenaf can be grown easily because it is resistance to diseases and pest. So farmers can cultivate kenaf easily as alternate of jute crop. Furthermore, kenaf cultivation enhances soil siltation and fertility as well. Char lands can provide high value crops like potato that can be harvested before the first flood peaks occur in the chars. Inclusion of high value crops in the existing system the productivity of land can be increased. With this consequence and on the basis of farmers existing cropping pattern and farmers’ choice, a promising alternative cropping pattern: Potato-Kenaf-T.Aman was designed and selected for field trial against Potato-Jute-T.Aman traditional pattern in Char areas of Kurigram and Gaibandha districts of Bangladesh