Modern technology may boost sugarcane production in Bangladesh

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By Dr Aynal Haque

RAJSHAHI, Jan 19, 2016 (BSS)- Substantial dissemination and expansion of the developed modern technologies can help boosting sugarcane production in the country, which needs for meeting up the domestic sugar demands.

Sugarcane scientists mentioned that the modern technologies developed by Bangladesh Sugarcane Research Institute (BSRI) could be the effective means of boosting sugarcane farming and its production.

BSRI Principal Scientific Officer Dr Samajit Qumar Pal said the nation has enormous prospects for increasing sugarcane production up to the expected level but the possibility could be made realistic as yet due to multipurpose constraints.

He underscored the need for ensuring a balanced atmosphere in the crop farming system for food security. In this regard, he underscored the need for surviving of all the potential crops including the cereals and sugarcane for the sake of surviving the sugar mills.

In this context, he said all the 10 sugarcane mills in the country’s northwestern region are incurring huge loss due to lack of adequate sugarcane. He recommended crop-rationing system so that the conventional crop diversification could be sustained.

He, however, said the sugarcane production is gradually being reduced after failing to compete with some other major crops and vegetables. Dr Pal stated that the nation has now been producing hardly 3.5 lakh tonnes of sugar against the demand of around 12 lakh tonnes.

But, he attributed that the sugar has vital role in the mental development of the young generation along with economical development of the nation.

In this regard, he said per 100 ml sugarcane juice contain 90.2g water, 0.1g protein, 0.2g fat, 9.1g carbohydrate, 0.4g mineral, 10mg calcium, 10mg phosphorus, 1.1mg iron, 6microgram carotene, 0.04mg riboflavin and 39 kilocalorie food energy.

“We have enormous prospect of getting the protein elements through
substantial enhancement of the cash crop production that can help reduce family level protein deficiency,” Dr Pal said.

He added that regular in-taking of sugar or molasses side by side with rice and other nutritious foods is very essential for human being especially the growing children for developing their intelligence power.

BSRI Principal Scientific Officer Dr Abdur Rashid mentioned that 40 high yielding sugarcane verities along with other necessary modern technologies have so far been innovated. In addition to this, he said importance is being given on disseminating and transferring those among the farmers.

Inter-cropping with sugarcane has been found as more beneficial to the farmers as it can boost total crop production per unit area coupled with ensuring sustainable sugarcane cultivation with higher economic benefit compared to other crops.

Systematic inter-cropping- potato, onion, lentil, mug bean, garlic and some other winter crops, vegetables and spice help increases sugarcane yield compared to sole-cropping.

Furthermore, inter-cropping create additional job opportunity needed for intensive crop production. He underscored the need for wide-range expansion of sugarcane inter-cropping through reactivating the field level agricultural officials and staff for the nation’s food security.

Terming the sugarcane as a cum-cash-cum-industrial crop of Bangladesh, he said its farming is being gradually pushed into low-lying marginal lands due to high demand of cereals and vegetable crops. Besides, the national average yield is far below than potential yield.

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