Floating seed bed for farmers

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| Updated:
Aug 19, 2019, 10:12 p.m.


The recent flooding that inundated large swathes of the country, causing extensive damage to human settlements and cropland, once again reminds the nation of a universal fact: the inhabitants of this deltaic land are extremely resilient. Especially its rural populations have barely yielded to the onslaught of natural disasters. As part of their resilience, they heroically faced disasters and resumed their lives, replenishing their remaining fallout. The timely and comprehensive use of floating seedbeds after flooding is one such example. When the floods in the north, northeast and southwest of the country began to wash the terrestrial seedbeds of Aman one by one, the indomitable farmers began using a newly refurbished solution to the seedbed crisis. That they were desperate in their offer was understood. Indeed, the production losses of the BARRI-51 Aman variety would lead to a series of disturbances in terms of yields and food security.

As farmers in many parts of the country had already turned to the floating seedbed technique during small-scale floods, helped by local agricultural officials, it appeared to them as the only cure. During and after the raging flood, rice farmers in general saw their traditional seedbeds washed away. While preparing makeshift floating seedbeds, the intrepid farmers were confident that their artificially grown Aman plants would bail them out this time around, too. What they need to do is transplant the paddy seedlings from the seedbed to their cultivated land after the flood waters recede. This is how a large number of rice farmers were able to escape the dreaded loss of harvest that was going to hit them.

Modernized mainly by field agents from the Agricultural Extension Department, the manufacture of floating seed beds follows a simple formula. Prior to its formal introduction, this type of seedling has been used in flood prone areas throughout the ages. In the modern version, stripped of crude methods, floating nurseries depend mainly on water hyacinth and other aquatic plants. To make a seedbed, a farmer only needs to cover the layer of water hyacinths with mud. Once the beds are prepared, the farmers sprinkle rice seeds on the floating plots of “cropland”. The seedlings from the seeds are then moved to the main rice fields for transplantation.

In the context of repeated crop losses during large and small monsoon floods, calling floating seedbeds a revolution is no understatement. Already in many parts of the country, mechanized farming practices herald a new era. From plowing to harvesting to threshing, the uses of modern agro-techniques have long been a common sight. The reintroduction and growing popularity of centuries-old traditional floating seedbeds appear to be a unique addition to the country’s agriculture, albeit a bit anachronistic. The country’s agriculture is not yet completely free from many of its traditional practices. The floating seedbed in improved form is one of them. He talks about the fact that the adage “old is gold” has not completely lost its relevance. One piece of information can make many farmers optimistic. The Agricultural Extension Directorate attaches considerable importance to the floating seedbed project. In order to extend its support for the project, it organizes “incentive grants” for farmers after training them.

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