Farmers in the district are using more pesticides than necessary on winter vegetables as most of them do not know how much to use on their crops.
Ashraful Islam, 42, a winter vegetable grower in Purbo Shalmara village under Aditmari upazila, said he has cultivated cauliflower on six bighas of land and sprays pesticide on the vegetable field twice a week. “If I don't use chemicals on my cauliflower field twice a week, pests will attack my crop,” he added.
His younger brother Abdul Hamid, 30, said they take suggestion from the pesticide seller. “We don't need to go agriculture officials for getting advice, and they never visit us to give advice on the method of using pesticide,” he added.
Delowar Hossain, 62, of the same village said it is not possible to get expected production of winter vegetables, especially cauliflower, without using chemicals. “We also use vitamins to speed up the growth of cauliflowers,” he said, adding that they spend a huge amount for buying chemicals every winter.
Nibendunath Barman, 55, of Karnopur village in Sadar upazila said they use additional chemicals on winter vegetables as they do not know how much pesticide they need to use on their vegetable fields. “We know that we will get bumper production if we use chemicals properly to save our crops from pests and diseases,” he said.
“We go door to door of farmers for providing technical support and advice for using good seeds and limiting dosage of chemicals,” said Sub-Assistant Agriculture Officer in Aditmari upazila Khabir Uddin. “Most farmers always follow our directions, and they contact us if needed,” he added.
Moslem Uddin, a pesticide seller at Bhelnari Bazar in the upazila said they sell pesticides to the farmers after hearing about their problems. “We advise farmers on how to use pesticides and tell them never to use chemicals unnecessarily,” he added.
District Department of Agriculture Extension Deputy Director Bidhubhushan Roy said it is advisable to use pesticides on vegetable fields two or three times a month, but farmers tend to use additional chemicals. “Agriculture officials are always ready to prescribe pesticides and the dosage,” he said, adding he has ordered the officials to visit farmers at their homes.