Friday, 4 April 2014

Evaluation of conservation agriculture for rice-based cropping systems on the High Ganges River Flood Plain of Bangladesh

 CESD Seminar

Crop and Environmental Sciences Division Seminar

By M.J. Alam, E. Humphreys, and M.A.R Sarkar 
Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute, Regional Agricultural Research Station, Jessore
International Rice Research Institute, Los Baños, Philippines
Bangladesh Agricultural University, Mymensingh

1:15 – 2:15 p.m., Tuesday, 8 April 2014,
SSD Conference Rm, Drilon Bldg, IRRI


Bangladesh is a very small and the 5th most densely populated country in the world and has to feed about 155 million people from 8.52 million hectares of cultivable land. Cropping systems on the High Ganges River Flood Plain of Bangladesh are highly diverse, but usually include puddled transplanted rice (PTR) during the rainy season. In some areas, farmers grow 2 rice crops a year,  aman rice during the rainy season, followed by boro rice during the dry season, irrigated from groundwater. However, establishment costs of PTR are high due to intensive tillage and consumption of large amounts of diesel, and the high labour requirement for transplanting. Furthermore, puddling for rice could damage soil structure and impair the performance of non-rice crops grown in rotation with rice. Also, groundwater levels are declining in the region due to the large amount of pumping during the dry season, especially for boro rice. Therefore, improved rice-based cropping system practices are needed which reduce tillage, labour and water requirement while increasing system productivity to meet the needs of the growing population. Therefore, we established a cropping system experiment to compare the performance of a conventional puddled transplanted aman-boro cropping system with a rice-wheat-mungbean rotation with different degrees of tillage and rice residue retention, ranging from conventional tillage for all crops and removal of rice residues to reduced tillage and surface retention of rice residues in a conservation agriculture system. In this seminar the performance of the component crops and the total cropping system will be compared in terms of yield (rice equivalent, protein, and energy), water input, water productivity and economics.

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