Page 1

AAPI NEWS BULLETIN Accelerating Agriculture Productivity Improvement (AAPI) Volume 27

A project supported by USAID in collaboration with DAE Notes from Chief of Party, AAPI

Inside this issue:

NPK Briquette Production, Storage and Handling Techniques


Women Entrepreneurs Help Sustain UDP Technology


Role of Opinion Leaders in the Expansion of UDP Technology


Activity Achievements in May 2013


AAPI Events in June 2013


AAPI News Bulletin is a monthly publication of the AAPI project. Subscriptions are free. International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC) is a Public International Organization (PIO) based in Alabama, USA. IFDC focuses on increasing and sustaining food security and agricultural productivity in developing countries. Managing Editor: Ishrat Jahan Resident Representative IFDC Bangladesh Eurasia Division and Project Coordinator, AAPI Design and Layout: Syed Afzal Hossain Data Management Unit, AAPI

The Boro harvest is drawing to a close and Aus seedbeds are planted. We are collecting our Boro season results and at the same time running our field programs for the Aus crop. It is a very busy time for all staff. The advent of cyclone Mahasen and heavy rains, before and after the harvest of the Boro rice, has been a setback in the coastal districts, especially Barguna and Patuakhali. It has hampered the Boro harvest (and post harvest drying) and flooded Aus seedbeds. Project staff are coping with the situation. This month we welcomed the return of our Green House Gas (GHG) Emission Team from training in IFDC Headquarters, Alabama – Dr. Md Abdus Satter, AAPI local environmental scientist, Mr. Mofizul Islam, scientific officer of Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI) and Mr. Azmul Huda, PhD scholar of Bangladesh Agriculture University (BAU) attended a one month training course in IFDC to familiarize with the equipment and to learn the gas analysis methodology. They were joined by Dr. Yam Gaihre, our international post doctoral scientist who started his assignment with the project in late April and also attended the training. Dr. Upendra Singh, IFDC principal scientist is also back to support the installation of the GHG monitoring equipment. Dr. Satter has written an article on the work for this bulletin.

May 31, 2013

Other articles in this bulletin have been written by Dr Mazid Miah, AAPI soil scientist, describing the manufacture of nitrogen (N), phosphate (P) and potash (K) -- NPK briquettes; Mr. Mofizul Islam, AAPI senior agriculture specialist has written a case study on one of our enterprising briquette shop owners and Dr A.K.M. Farhad has described the importance of opinion leaders in dissemination of urea deep placement (UDP) technology. Dr. David Gisselquist, the short term expatriate economist, commenced his midterm impact evaluation of the project this month. He will work with the AAPI senior data management specialist, the monitoring and evaluation (M&E) specialist and the data management team to assess the performance of the project following completion of the first 30 months of implementation and to establish a basis for assessing impact over the remaining life of the project. *** Capacity Development in GHG Emission Measurement Bangladesh is one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change and experiences different types of natural disasters almost every year. The frequency of disasters like storm, tidal surge, flood, tornado, hail storm, drought and uneven rainfall is

The views expressed in this bulletin do not necessarily reflect views of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) or the United States Government

Volume 27

AAPI NEWS BULLETIN AAPI News Bulletin Contact Persons: Ishrat Jahan Grahame D. Hunter Address: Dhaka Office: Road No. 62, House No. 4B, Apt-B2 Gulshan - 2, Dhaka -1212 Bangladesh Tel: 880-2-9894288 880-2-8817391 Fax: 880-2-8826109 Website: Barisal Office: “Zohora” 834 (New) Police Line Road, Barisal Tel: 0431-2176566 Jessore Office: 1351 Police Line Road Talikhola, Puraton Kasba Jessore Tel: 0421-60986 AAPI Management: Ishrat Jahan, Project Coordinator; Grahame D. Hunter, Chief of Party; Md. Mofizul Islam, Sr. Agriculture Specialist; Dr. Shaharuk Ahmed, Md. Fozlul Hoque, Md. Iqbal Hossain, Dr. Badirul Islam, Agriculture Specialists; Md. Shamsul Alam, Abul Hossain Mollah, Mahmood Hussain, Dr. AKM Farhad Training Specialists; Dr. Md. Abdul Mazid Mia, Mainul Ahsan, Soil Scientists; Md. Nurul Islam, Market/Business Development Specialist; Ram Proshad Ghosh, Mechanical Engineer; Dr. Abdul Wohab, Agriculture Engineer; Sonia Kutubuddin, Activity Coordinator, Rubina Islam, Gender Specialist; Syed Afzal Mahmood Hossain, Senior Data Management Specialist; Farin Islam, M&E Specialist; AFM Saleh Chowdhury, Chief Accountant; Bishnu Rup Chowdhury, Administrative and Procurement Officer

gradually increasing over time. Due to these climatic hazards, the agriculture sector of the country is the most affected, among all other sectors. Coastal areas are more vulnerable. These climatic disasters seriously affect the livelihoods of rural famers and impact food security and the overall economy of the country. GHGs are known to play a major role in influencing climate change. IFDC is working toward improving agricultural productivity and achieving food security in the country through improved fertilizer management practices. Of IFDC’s long-term strategies, UDP technology is a major achievement in Bangladesh. UDP increases crop yields on one hand and reduces the required amount of urea fertilizer on the other hand. This is due to continuous supply and increased uptake of nutrients by crop plants from UDP. In other words, the loss of nutrients from UDP is much lower compared with the conventional (broadcast) method of urea application. Because of lower release of nutrients to the air, environmental pollution is also lower in UDP. UDP also reduces emission of GHGs from the crop lands because of placement of fertilizer in the deep soil layers. In the conventional broadcast method of urea application, the applied urea remains on the surface of the soil and is lost in different ways such as surface run off with water, gaseous forms to the atmosphere and leaching loss to ground water. Having the nutrient within reach in the broadcast method, weeds absorb more of the applied urea than in UDP. The broadcast method encourages severe weed growth and involves extra cost for weeding. After broadcasting onto the soil surface, a significant quantity 2

of applied urea is lost into the atmosphere in gaseous forms including GHGs. However, there is no quantitative data in the country on emission of GHGs to compare UDP and the conventional method of urea application. Recently, with funding from United States Agency for International Development (USAID), IFDC initiated a pilot project “GHG Emissions Mitigation” under AAPI, aiming to quantify emission of GHGs from the rice field with various crop management practices. A major objective of the project is capacity building of the public institutions regarding human resource development and physical facilities development for research. The project will be operated at two locations: at the research farms of BRRI, Gazipur, and BAU, Mymensingh. Studies will be conducted on the Boro-transplanted (T)/Aus-T/Aman rice cropping pattern. Emission of GHGs from the rice field with UDP and alternate wetting and drying (AWD) treatments will be studied against the conventional method of urea application and full irrigation. The GHG Emissions Mitigation project started as a component of the AAPI project in the Kharif (wet) II season 2012 with field trials on T Aman rice at two locations at BRRI, Gazipur, and BAU, Mymensingh. Field trials were also conducted on Boro rice 2013 at both locations. Crop performance with UDP coupled with AWD has been studied against the conventional methods of fertilizer application and water management. In addition to yield parameters, some environmental parameters were also measured from those experiments. Field trials will also be continued on T Aus rice 2013 at both locations. Measurement of GHG (nitrous oxide


Volume 27 IFDC, under the AAPI project, is in the process of installing the equipment at BRRI and BAU research farms. The laboratory buildings have been constructed. All equipment and calibration gases are on-site. One environment specialist, two PhD fellows from the public research institutions and university and one international postdoctoral fellow have been appointed under the project. They have been trained on the handling and operation of the equipment at IFDC’s headquarters in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, USA. The main objective of the training was capacity-building of the local scientists from the agriculture research institutes and universities. In addition to these scientists, the chief scientific officer and head of Soil Science Division, BRRI, and Professor Dr. Md. Rafiqul Islam (senior) and Professor Dr. Md. Rafiqul Islam (junior) of BAU’s Soil Science Department will work as Principal Investigators.

[N2O] and nitric oxide [NO]) emissions will be initiated from this T Aus rice and will be continued year-round on the Boro-T/Aus-T/ Aman rice cropping pattern. GHG emissions will be measured using a continuous flow automatic measurement system, which is a unique system developed by IFDC. Chambers made of flexi-glass will be placed in the rice field to capture emitted GHGs from the field, which will flow directly through tubes into an analyzer in a purpose-built field laboratory. The analyzers will measure the GHGs in real time and store the analytical results in a data logger, which is readable by computer. There will also be equipment to constantly measure the soil and air temperature and soil water potential. The whole system is controlled by software developed by IFDC. The system will run continuously for 24 hours a day/seven days a week.

Dr. Rick Austin, recently retired coordinator – analytical services at IFDC, was the pioneer in developing the equipment and was the resource person of the training program. Dr. Upendra Singh, IFDC principal scientist – systems modeling (soil fertility), worked as the coordinator and also as the resource speaker of the program. The training program covered the system components of the equipment, basic principles and functions of the operation of the equipment, software, data acquisition from the data logger, data analysis and data interpretation. The equipment is composed of different components, which are interconnected with wires and tubes to perform the desired functions.

Chamber for gas collection from the field.

The major components of the equipment are: N2O analyzer, NO analyzer, gas calibration instrument, system control box with various components, data logger connected to a personal computer (PC) in the laboratory and gas chambers, temperature sensor and moisture sensors in the field. Expected data from GHG emission studies will be analyzed and interpreted to determine GHG emission during the cropping season, fertilizer management, water management, fallow period,

Instruments for gas analysis. 3


Volume 27

temperature and moisture. The information will be used as the database to identify the fertilizer and water management practices to reduce emission of GHGs from the rice field. The information will be useful to policy planners for planning the future research and development programs in the country.

Incompatible properties in raw materials can result in wetting, caking, disintegration and overall deterioration of the product. When urea and MOP are mixed, this deterioration is a risk unless precautions are taken to ensure the material is kept dry and stored in airtight containers. The Mixing Ratio


The NPK Guti mixture depends on soil fertility status and nutrient requirements of the crop. AAPI, in collaboration with BRRI and Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI), has carried out research to determine the mixing ratio of urea, DAP and MOP for various sizes of NPK Guti for different crops in different seasons. To maintain a correct fertilizer dose, the proper mixing ratio should be followed strictly and the raw materials should be mixed thoroughly when preparing NPK briquettes. For the AAPI Feed the Future (FTF) districts, the fertilizer mixing ratio for rice crops and the pertinent information of NPK Guti is given in the following table.

NPK Briquette Production, Storage and Handling Techniques Conventional farmer practice for applied N, P and K fertilizers is inefficient. About 60 percent to 70 percent of the fertilizer applied is not available for plant growth. Reducing nutrient losses is a critical step toward improving soil fertility and agricultural productivity. To increase the nutrient use efficiency and encourage balanced fertilization for sustainable improvement of soil health and crop production, AAPI-IFDC has introduced fertilizer deep placement (FDP) technology using NPK briquettes in rice and vegetable cultivation. The NPK briquette (Guti) is a mixed fertilizer made by compressing a mixture of prilled or granular urea, diammonium phosphate (DAP) and muriate of potash (MOP) using a briquette machine. The urea briquette (Guti urea) is made from urea only. So there is a difference between Guti urea and NPK Guti in physical and chemical properties. This need to be understood to ensure quality NPK Guti is made, stored and applied with good results.

For Aus and Aman seasons, one 3.40 gm NPK Guti is recommended for deep placement in the center of four hills of the rice plants. For Boro season, two 2.40 gm NPK Guti have been recommended for deep placement in the center of four hills of rice plants. The 3.4 gm NPK Guti is made using the 2.7 gm Guti urea compressor. The 2.4 gm NPK Guti uses the 1.8 gm Guti urea compressor. Fertilizer Mixing and NPK Guti Production  At the beginning of NPK Guti production and before transferring the mixture of raw materials to the briquette machine, the grooved feed roller used for Guti urea production should be replaced by a plain feed roller for NPK Guti production. This is to avoid excess amounts of the mixture entering the compact rollers, creating a heavy load on the machine, which may result in machine breakdown.

Factors Affecting NPK Guti Production Good quality NPK Guti can be produced using a urea briquette machine. Quality depends on the physical properties of the raw materials, the mixing ratio and the mixing method. The physical properties that influence the quality of NPK Guti are: (1) atmospheric moisture content at which the material begins to absorb moisture, (2) moistureholding capacity, (3) segregation of the material in the feeding system, (4) the ability of mixing material to remain dry and (5) flowing freely.

 The compressor roller must be fitted to match the required NPK Guti size.




Barisal 2.40

Volume 27 Mixing Ratio of Urea/DAP/ MOP


gram (gm)





3.40 gm Jessore


Quantity of Fertilizers Needed for Making 100 kg NPK Guti (kg)

Percent of N, P and K in NPK Guti

Nutrient Doses in kg/ha

Fertilizer Doses in kg/ha

Urea = 50.00

N = 29.00

N = 43.50

Urea = 95.00

DAP =33.33

P = 6.67

P = 10.00

TSP = 50.00

MOP = 16.67

K = 8.33

K = 12.50

MOP = 25.00

Urea = 50.00

N = 28.40

N = 42.40

Urea = 92.00

DAP =30.00

P = 6.00

P = 8.75

TSP = 44.00

MOP = 20.00

K = 10.00

K = 15.60

MOP = 31.00

Urea = 44.00

N = 27.00

N = 57.00

Urea = 124.00

DAP =35.00

P = 7.50

P = 15.00

TSP = 75.00

MOP = 21.00

K = 10.30

K = 22.00

MOP = 44.00

Urea = 51.42

N = 30.00

N = 63.00

Urea = 137.00

DAP =25.00

P = 5.00

P = 10.60

TSP = 53.00

MOP = 23.58

K = 11.76

K = 25.00

MOP = 50.00

 Good quality fertilizer should be used to produce NPK Guti, preferably with uniform particle size.

and the weight of fertilizer should be taken correctly.  While mixing the fertilizer, hand gloves and masks should be used and thorough mixing should be ensured.

 The raw materials used to produce NPK Guti should be dry and free-flowing.  Wet fertilizer materials should not be used for NPK Guti production.

 After mixing, the fertilizer materials should be placed into the feed hopper of the briquette machine as early as possible.

 The particle size of the raw materials should be as close as possible to each other to avoid segregation. Granular urea, granular DAP and granular MOP fertilizers should be used to produce good quality NPK Guti.

 When transferring the mixture of raw materials to the feed hopper, continue to mix using a wooden paddle. Do not use the hand.  The NPK Guti should be packed in sealed (air tight) plastic bags with labels that clearly specify the NPK nutrient content.

 Water should not be sprayed into the individual raw material or to the mixture of raw materials.  Raw materials should be kept in closed bags to avoid moisture absorption. Only open those bags that will be entirely used; if any materials are left in the bag, it should be sealed immediately.

Storage and Handling of NPK Guti  NPK Guti should never be exposed to the atmosphere because it will absorb moisture and will deteriorate the quality quickly.

 As all raw materials are mixed manually to produce the NPK Guti, it is better to do several small batches rather than one or two large batches to reduce segregation.

 NPK Guti should be applied in the field as soon as possible after manufacture and if not then, the product should be preserved in air tight plastic containers/polythene bags and should not be preserved for long time.

 To produce NPK Guti, the prescribed mixing ratio of fertilizer should be followed strictly 5


Volume 27

 During storage, it is better to stack the bags in several small piles rather than large piles to reduce the disintegration of NPK Guti.

home helped her to successfully perform her domestic duties along with the briquette business. The couple owned 1.25 acres of land in 2011 when the urea briquette machine was purchased. During 2012 and 2013, they purchased another 46 decimals and 50 decimals, respectively, at a total cost of Tk 800,000.00 (US $10,000). The extra earnings from the Guti urea business covered most of the cost of this newly purchased land (over Tk 400,000.00) during 2012 and 2013.

 Warehouses where raw materials and NPK Guti are kept should be adequately ventilated in the hottest time of the day and closed during the night.  When handling, the exposure time to the atmosphere should be minimum.

AAPI-IFDC provided urea briquette machine maintenance and business management trainings to Dolly. Dolly’s husband accompanied her to all of the training programs provided by AAPI. The training as well as the practical operational guidance given by the AAPI-IFDC team helped Dolly and her husband in developing machine operation skills, production of quality briquettes, machine maintenance and marketing and developing their business. Dolly’s husband, Abdul, now renders services to other nearby urea briquette machine operators in repairing, adjusting and maintaining the machines. He has developed so much expertise on the repair and maintenance of the machines that he can totally dismantle and reassemble them. This is very important to the sustainability of the technology by ensuring the supply chain to the farmers.

*** Women Entrepreneurs Help Sustain UDP Technology Jessore District as a whole has shown a creditable achievement of meeting the UDP coverage target for AAPI’s 2013 Boro season. Experienced and innovative farmers are already using Guti urea, but those categorized as “majority adopters” are also using Guti urea in their crops during the Boro season. The use of Guti urea has also started to diversify into other crops and fish culture. This is the story of one woman entrepreneur who has benefited from the UDP technology. Ms. Dolly Begum was identified as the first briquette machine owner of Jhikorgacha upazila. Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) upazila agriculture officer, Mr. Abu Bakkar Siddique, helped her purchase a briquette machine. She is married to Mr. Abdul Kader, a progressive farmer who is well-known to DAE officers. The couple has two sons and four daughters. The eldest son is working in Malaysia and the second son is in college. The eldest daughter is married and the rest three daughters are between two and five years old. The husband is the president of DAE’s Common Interest Group (CIG), which has 30 members. The group encourages the development and adoption of new technologies among themselves and with neighboring farmers.

About 75 percent of farmers now use Guti urea in Dolly and Abdul’s area and it is expected that over 95 percent will use Guti urea during the 2014 Boro season. Since the start of the business in 2011, Dolly Begum has sold 477 tons of Guti urea. Guti urea use is not limited only to the rice crop, it has expanded to several vegetables, papaya, and banana and also to fish culture. A rough estimate indicated that the net profit per kilogram of urea briquettes is Tk 1.00, indicating that over an 18month period, Dolly earned a net profit of Tk 477,000.00 (US $5,963). It is interesting to note that of the total sales of urea briquettes from the business, about 30 percent was for application in fish culture. They also stated that due to fish culture, their urea briquette machines remain busy throughout the year.

Taking advantage of the project subsidy for the purchase of a briquette machine, Dolly paid Tk. 38,000.00 (US $475) to the M/S Masum Engineering Workshop through the AAPI Dhaka office. M/S Masum Engineering Works delivered the fertilizer briquette machine to her shop, located adjacent to her house. Working near her

Dolly expressed interest in marketing NPK Guti. AAPI-IFDC has provided training on production, 6


Volume 27 like to see everybody use Guti urea in their Boro crop.” The results have been reflected in Boro 2013. Alam also followed up by participating in many other UDP activities. He continues to collect updates on UDP coverage from the UAO office.

selection of raw materials, storage, packaging and marketing of NPK Guti. Dolly and her husband said that they are ready to continue their business under an open, free competitive marketing atmosphere. Their business ethics are: (1) supply of quality briquettes with accurate weight; (2) charge reasonable and competitive prices; (3) ensure timely supply of Guti urea; (4) impart practical training to farmers; and (5) good behavior and constant contact with the farmers. *** Role of Opinion Leaders in the Expansion of UDP Technology Opinion leaders play an important role in the expansion of UDP technology in the AAPI project area. Opinion leaders are individuals who are able to influence another individual’s attitudes or overt behavior informally in a desired way with relative frequency. Some opinion leaders in the AAPI project are upazila chairmen, mayor, vice chairmen and union parishad (UP) chairmen, UP members, teachers, Imams and local elites.

Gangni upazila chairman (fourth from right) in crop-cut field day.

Md Selim Jahangir, mayor of Paickgacha in Khulna district, plays an important role and contributes to the expansion of UDP technology after participating in a crop-cut field day during the 2012 Aman season. He requested that all participants use Guti urea during the Boro season. His positive role enhanced the UDP target achievement in Boro 2013. He also leads by example, assuring the audiences that in the “coming Boro season, I will use Guti urea in my entire 20 bigha of Boro land.” He recommended that his commissioners use UDP technology in their fields also. He requested that UAOs ensure the supply of Guti urea during the peak period of Boro season. All public representatives are asked to encourage the expansion of UDP technology.

Opinion leaders tend to be more educated, from a higher socio-economic level, have more exposure to mass media and other forms of external communication, more exposure to interpersonal communication, more contact with change agents, more social participation and are more cosmopolitan. The most striking characteristic of opinion leaders is their unique and influential position in their interpersonal networks, which allow them to serve as social models. Their innovative behavior is imitated by many other members. Some case studies of opinion leaders within AAPI are highlighted below.

Mr. Md Azadul Islam Azad, chairman of Damurhuda upazila, is very much interested in the expansion of UDP technology. He always uses the AAPI posters and leaflets in his chamber. He attends sub-assistant agriculture officers' (SAAOs) meetings for the expansion of UDP technology, and in any type of public gathering, he talks about the benefits of this technology.

A.K.M Shafiqual Alam, upazila chairman of Gangni under Meherpur district, participated in one crop-cut field day during Aman 2012 season along with his vice chairman Mr. Julfikar Ali Butto and Mrs. Salina Momtaz. UP chairman and members and the upazila agriculture officer (UAO) were also present in this meeting. During his speech, Alam said, “I used Guti urea in my 10 bigha (1 bigha equals 33 decimals) of Aman crop with the advice of the UAO and AAPI field monitoring officer (FMO). I recommend that every UP chairmen and members and all farmers in the coming Boro season use Guti urea. I would

In the same way, Mr. Abdul Malek, upazila chairman of Abhaynagar, also plays an important role for the expansion of UDP technology. He participated in one crop-cut field day with the UAO in the Aman 2012 season. Now he is very 7


Volume 27

knowledgable about UDP technology and collects the information regarding the progress of UDP in every season.

play an important role in motivating the farmers by their positive and influential positions. Their positive contribution not only helps in the expansion of the technology but also helps in the sustainability of the technology.

Sha Mohammad Borhan Uddin, Nakla upazila chairman under Sherpur district, plays a positive role for the expansion of UDP technology and farmers in Nakla upazila are very interested in the expansion of UDP technology.

*** AAPI Events in June 2013 In the month of June 2013, AAPI is concentrating its activities for Boro and Aus paddy. In this month, the following activities will be carried out.  179 batches of training for Aus rice farmers  2 small business management training programs  1 local mechanic training programs  2 batches of briquette producers training  35 field demonstration established  5 field trial (rice) established  118 motivational meetings with old farmers  1 stakeholder workshops  18 Boro demo plot crop cut  42 Boro farmers field crop cut

Nakla upazila chairman (second from left) and upazila nirbahi officer UNO (middle) in AAPI stakeholder workshop.

AAPI-IFDC involves the opinion leaders in stakeholder workshops and crop-cut field days in different locations across the project area. They


Activity Achievements in May 2013 From May 1 to 31, 2013, AAPI successfully completed activities as shown in the following Table. Indicator


Season Target

Achievement in May 2013

Season Total

% of Target

Aus season UDP coverage for Aus Farmer training

ha Batches

215,848 965

25,198 445

25,213 507

12% 53%

Extension staff meeting Orientation training Field demonstration

No. No. No.

33 15 245

19 5 52

29 15 52

88% 100% 21%

Field trial Motivational field visits

No. Batch

15 15

1 12

1 12

7% 80%

Stakeholder workshop






Briquette owner training Boro crop cut






Rice demonstration harvest Rice trial harvest

No. No.

386 25

403 30

407 30

105% 120%

Field days Crop cuts in farmers field

No. No.

50 870

63 899

65 901

130% 104%


AAPI bulletin vol 27 May2013(eng)