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AAPI NEWS BULLETIN Accelerating Agriculture Productivity Improvement (AAPI) Volume 8

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

Inside this issue:

Stakeholders Workshops with the Imams (an Alternative Motivational Strategy for the Promotion of UDP Technology)


The Impact of UDP Technology in AAPI 2010-11


Maintenance of Briquette Machines: Tips for Entrepreneurs


AAPI Events in November 2011


AAPI News Bulletin is a monthly publication of the AAPI project. Subscriptions are free. 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

We now have all our data tabulated for AAPI’s first year. We have seen two seasons completed, Boro and Aus. This issue publishes some of the AAPI result impacts and they are very impressive indeed. We are at or over the target on all. The value of the saving on the urea subsidy for this first year of AAPI amounts to $5.79 million. This alone more than covers the total AAPI budget for the year. In this eighth issue, you will find an article prepared by Mr Ram Prashad Ghosh, AAPI Engineer, on maintenance of briquette machines. This is important for all owners of machines. Remember your business is only as good as the product you sell and your machine is its most valuable asset. We also have an article written by Mr Mofizul Islam on the progress we are making in getting a new improved applicator onto the market. On October 9, we were privileged to attend a workshop convened by the Department of Farm Power and Machinery at Bangladesh Agriculture University (BAU) where a new prototype was unveiled. Dr Mozammel Haque has written an article on how the Imams in Mymensingh district are actively promoting Urea Deep Placement (UDP ) technology. It is gratifying to

October 31, 2011

see how they are contributing to the project goals of food security and income generation in their communities. AAPI is now focusing on scaling up its activities from Boro 2012 to achieve an expansion of the UDP technology in about 1.0 million hectares in the south and southwest region of Bangladesh by Boro 2013. All our staff are working full swing in the field to achieve AAPI scale up targets. *** Applicator is One of the Driving Forces for Future UDP Technology’s Expansion The UDP technology is economically profitable to farmers with increases in yields compensating the increased labor cost. However, the hand deep placement of Guti urea is a timeconsuming and laborious field operation, especially when it is done separately a few days after transplanting. Deep placement of urea briquettes popularly known as Guti urea requires 7-10 labor days per hectare for manual deep placement. Labor numbers vary largely due to the expertise and skill from place to place. In many places, even though the farmers are motivated to use Guti

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

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 AAPI Management: Ishrat Jahan, Project Coordinator; Grahame D. Hunter, Chief of Party; Md. Mofizul Islam, Sr. Agriculture Specialist; Dr. Shaharuk Ahmed Agriculture Specialist; Md. Mozammel Haque, Training Specialist; Mahmood Hussain, Training Specialist; Abul Hossain Mollah, Training Specialist, Dr. Md. Abdul Mazid Mia, Soil Scientist; Mainul Ahsan, Soil Scientist; Md. Nurul Islam, Market/Business Development Specialist; Ram Proshad Ghosh, Mechanical Engineer; Rubina Islam, Gender Specialist; Syed Afzal Mahmood Hossain, Senior Data Management Specialist; AFM Saleh Chowdhury, Chief Accountant; Bishnu Rup Chowdhury, Administrative and Procurement Officer

Volume 8 urea, the availability of labor and the higher cost during the peak labor demand period sometimes compel them to forgo using Guti urea in the paddy field. Manufacture of suitable machines for deep placement of Guti urea has been considered a potential solution to the labor problem. In past years, IFDC and other organizations have developed and evaluated several prototype machines (or applicators) for effective deep placement of urea fertilizer. Reports describing the designs and field performance of the fertilizer applicator prototypes have not received due attention and have not led to widespread adoption. Manual application continues to be the main method.

IFDC started promotion of Guti during 1996 through the Agro-based Industries and Technology Development Project (ATDP) in collaboration with the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE). During that time a push-type Guti applicator was introduced to ease the application of Guti urea (Picture 2).

Picture 2: Hand-placement applicator

Picture 1: Prilled urea injector-type applicator

Initially, an injector-type prilled urea applicator was designed and tried in Bangladesh by IFDC, Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI) and Bangladesh Agriculture Research Institute (BARI) scientists. It was not successful. The nozzle of the injector became closed by clay and this led to missing prilled urea deep placement (Picture 1). On evaluation, it was observed that plants receiving urea were taller and darker green, but missing plants were shorter and yellow. Yield was less than expected. It did not progress beyond the research stage. 2

Taking into account the labor requirement of hand deep placement, our Honorable Minister for Agriculture has become the champion for the introduction of a more efficient and effective applicator. Accordingly, BRRI and BARI were instructed to develop an applicator for Guti urea deep placement. BRRI designed a two-row applicator that was effective, but its weight (12 kg) did not appeal to farmers because it required more effort to push. BARI designed an applicator that was approved by the Guti Urea Applicator Development technical committee (including one member from IFDC) set up by the Ministry of Agriculture. The BARI applicator generally requires 1.25 labor days per hectare in place of 7-10 labor days for manual application. There are now approximately 8,000 BARI applicators working in the field. On


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advice from the Honorable Minister, the government machinery project has distributed over 7,500 applicators free of cost.

Picture 4: IFDC-BAU-BARI Improved Model

The IFDC-BAU-BARI improved version has the following improvements over the BARI model: Picture 3: BARI model applicator

Feedback from farmers suggests that the BARI applicator still has improvements to be made. About 12% of the point placements are missed; 3%-4% double drops briquettes; there is blocking of the Guti urea delivery system; weeds and grasses clog the wheel; and operators require training before the machine can operate efficiently. Considering the urgency and need for an improved design, IFDC has taken the initiative to improve the BARI applicator and/or to redesign a new applicator. The Bangladesh Agriculture University (BAU), Bangladesh University of Engineering Technology (BUET) and the University of North Dakota have been contracted to improve or redesign a new applicator. BAU has finalized their model (Picture 4) and a workshop on “Improvement of Guti Urea Applicator” was organized on October 09, 2011, at Teacher Student Center (TSC), BAU, Mymensingh. BAU Vice-Chancellor Dr. M. Rafiqul Haque was Chief Guest. Professor Dr. A.T.M. Ziauddin gave a presentation highlighting the advantages of the newly designed applicator. During laboratory testing it was observed that the missed briquette drops have been reduced from 13% to 1%.

BARI Model


Unsowed land strips in both ends of each bout Short life due to metallic body Self weight:9 kg

No unsowed land strips in both ends of each bout Long life due to plastic body Self weight:7 kg

Pulling force:8-8.5 kg

Pulling force:7-7.5 kg

Missing percentage:9%-12 % More than 1 Guti/cup: - 8%-10% for 1.8 gm Guti - 5%-8% for 2.7 gm Guti

Missing percentage:0%-2% More than 1 Guti/cup: - 2%-3% for 1.8 gm Guti - 0%-1 % for 2.7 gm Guti

In addition, dust formation caused by urea briquettes being crushed by the pickup wheel will also be less in the improved version. Operational comfort is better than the BARI applicator for the following reasons:  Weight of finished improved version will be 2 kg less.  Round and short shape of the base lessens frictional contact with the soil. As per contract, BAU will supply five sets of prototype applicators. These will be extensively field tested during the coming Boro season before commercial manufacture. ***



Volume 8 from 12 upazilas in Mymensingh district (Figure 1). There are 5,000 Imams in Mymensingh district, according to the Islamic Foundation of Mymensingh. The selection of the Imams is based on: age, educational background, experience in farming, leadership ability, etc.

Stakeholder Workshops with the Imams (an Alternative Motivational Strategy for the Promotion of UDP Technology) Stakeholder workshops on a particular technology are referred to as motivational meetings and campaigns for awareness building. They aim to build support from the different stakeholders involved in the agriculture development process. In the AAPI project, the stakeholder workshop is generally arranged in order to reinforce the decision-making process of the farmers towards the adoption of UDP (urea deep placement mainly through “Guti” urea) technology. It has a positive role in the promotion of UDP technology. The participants of the workshops are generally progressive farmers, local leaders, school teachers, irrigation managers, farmers’ club members, officials involved in fertilizer management and others. In its first year, AAPI has organized 48 stakeholder workshops.

Source: Training Record of AAPI Mymensingh Region

A special stakeholder workshop was held last summer in Mymensingh district with the Imams of the Mosques in cooperation with the Islamic Foundation of Mymensingh. “Imam” is an Arabic word meaning “leader.” The Imams are not only religious leaders; they are also social leaders with an important role in promoting community development. The Imams generally deliver their religious teachings in the Mosque, but they also include discussions covering relevant topics needed for community development. Imams are highly regarded and can have much influence promoting UDP technology. The adoption of UDP can quickly lead to increased productivity of rice and vegetables. The objectives of the AAPI workshop were:

The workshop commenced under the chairmanship of the Deputy Director of the Mymensingh Islamic Foundation. The Additional Deputy Commissioner (ADC) representing the Deputy Commissioner was the Chief Guest in the workshop. He pointed out the pioneering role of the Imams and said he believed that the success of the workshop would lead to the promotion of UDP technology in the Mymensingh district’s rural areas. The Deputy Director, Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) Mymensingh, also attended the workshop as Special Guest and expressed firmly that this workshop would play a catalytic role towards the sustainable promotion of UDP technology in this region.

 Creating awareness among the Imams and providing them with information and knowledge on UDP technology.  Developing their mind-set towards the promotion of UDP technology in their locality.

Workshop with the Imams of the Mosques in Mymensingh

The workshop was arranged in the conference room of the Deputy Director of the Islamic Foundation of Mymensingh; 48 Imams attended

A brief speech was made by IFDC’s Resident Representative Ishrat Jahan, Eurasia Division Bangladesh; she highlighted the importance of 4


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UDP technology in Bangladesh and requested that the Imams participate in the UDP technology dissemination process in their respective areas, along with the AAPI field extension personnel. The AAPI Chief of Party Grahame Hunter also made a brief speech on different aspects of UDP technology promotion in the project locations and the expectation of success. Two keynote papers were presented by the senior officials of AAPI covering the technical and economical aspects of UDP technology and the role of Imams in this regard. After the presentations, open discussion was held where Imams and other distinguished guests participated. They expressed that this workshop helped the Imams to acquire valuable information relating to UDP technology, especially its necessity for Bangladesh where food security is a prime concern because of the rapidly increasing population.

Md. Abdulla is discussing his Guti urea applied plot on October 10, 2011, with neighboring farmers.

*** The Impact of UDP Technology in AAPI 2010-11 The first year of AAPI – October 2010 to September 2011 – spans two rice seasons – Boro and Aus. Block surveys and crop cuts have confirmed the impacts of UDP technology through these two seasons.  

The main recommendation of the workshop was that the Imams will highlight the importance of UDP technology promotion to the participants of their respective Mosques during their normal presentations and in the weekly special prayer day on Friday.

Result Indicators

Follow-up after the workshop noted that most of the Imams have started to provide UDP information to the community members in their areas. It was noted that the in the weekly special prayer day (Friday), the Imams are highlighting the importance of UDP technology. Some of the Imams have adopted UDP technology on their own land also. Mr. Abdullah, an Imam of Valukjan block of Fulbaria upazila under Mymensingh district, attended the AAPI workshop and afterwards applied UDP technology on 0.42 acres of transplanted Aman rice. Because of his example, 15 neighboring farmers have also applied Guti urea in their rice fields. Other neighboring farmers have been observing the UDP -applied rice plots and are becoming interested in UDP technology, thus the technology is diffused through the influence of the Imams.




Coverage of rice area under FDP technology




Area of vegetables under FDP technology




Farmers adopting FDP technology




Urea saved












GOB saving on urea subsidy Incremental rice production

Million US $ mt

Value of incremental rice production

Million US $

Average incremental value per hectare

US $

As a percentage of the high-yielding varieties (HYV)/hybrid area, AAPI achieved 27% coverage in Boro season and 35% coverage in Aus 2011 in its target districts. Plot sizes of UDP fields were 68 5

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AAPI NEWS BULLETIN -71 decimals across both seasons. Crop cuts in farmer fields showed a yield increment of 15% and 16% for Boro and Aus, respectively.

Maintenance of Briquette Machine: Tips for Entrepreneurs Boro is the major paddy crop of Bangladesh now. Just after the Aman season, farmers will start planting Boro seeds. With the planting, the demand for Guti urea will go up. Therefore, those producing Guti urea will have to prepare immediately. As the Guti urea machine is the main component to produce the fertilizer, maintaining it is of paramount importance. Without regular maintenance, it could quickly become dysfunctional. Longevity of the machine and quality of the fertilizer all depend on regular maintenance of the machine. Therefore, we are suggesting some tips that will be helpful for entrepreneurs.

Project Activities The first year activities, however, covered all three rice seasons as Aman planting starts from mid-July and most of the activities need to be complete by end of transplantation. The project activities carried out from October 2010 through September 2011 are reported in the following Table. Result Indicators


Total Year 2010-11 Target Actual


Technology Transfer Training of extension staff





Farmer training on FDP and AWD technology





Field demonstrations Field trials Field days Crop cuts Motivational field trips





No. No. No.

50 100 1,170

65 101 904

130 101 77





Motivational meetings and campaign





Improving Farmers’ Access Selling briquette machines at 75% subsidized price


Training of briquette producers/ fertilizer dealers


Market information reports (AAPI News Bulletin)





Grants to Universities





Field testing of applicators










You will have to replace the roller set. This means if you have a 1.8 gram roller set in your machine, you have to replace it with a 2.7 gram roller set, which manufactures 2.7 gram Guti as required during Boro season.


Before going for production, please get the diesel engine serviced by a good technician. If needed, machinery parts like oil filter, fuel filter and even engine oil should be checked and changed as necessary.


Paint the machine if its outer side is rusted and damaged.


Overhaul the engine if it is old and showing signs of wear and tear.


The parts that are changed (roller set) should be cleaned with kerosene oil and then put in the sun to ensure they dry properly. Then rub with grease, put them in polythene and keep them in a dry and high place for use in the next season.


Gear oil in the gear box should be changed if you find its quality below standard. Gear oil must be of the quality similar to the grade of EP 90 or 120.


After setting the 2.7 gram roller to the machine, you have to first produce some



Development of Applicator




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briquettes as a test. If the standard is not up to the mark, the roller set has to be adjusted.

13. Clean the hand tools and keep them in a proper place.


You can do all of these chores yourself, but you may also call the nearest AAPI technician or machine supplier for help.

14. Never place your hands, screwdriver or anything hard on the machine when it is running.


In light of past experience, you have to prepare Guti urea early and store some stock so that the farmers can buy and collect it when they need it.

15. Use gloves, gumboot operating the machine.




16. Turn the machine off for an hour after every four hours of continuous production.

Things to remember while operating the machine:

17. After the day’s production is over, cover the machine with polythene, if needed.


Check if anything hard is found in the hopper before starting the machine.


Check if the necessary parts are in the right places.

AAPI Events in November 2011


Check if gear oil, water of cooling tank, diesel and engine oil are adequate.

In the month of November, AAPI is concentrating its activities for Boro paddy. In this month, the following activities will be carried out.


Ensure that the prilled urea is loose and that there is no hard material in it.

5. 6.



 709 batches of training for Boro farmers

Refrain from use of excessively wet and damaged fertilizer.

 24 training of trainers (TOT) for DAE staff

Notice if the machine generates an abnormal sound when it is operated. Call a technician if necessary.

 7 orientation training programs

 2 training for briquette producers  11 motivational field trips  162 motivational meetings with Boro farmers

Test the quality of the briquettes in the beginning and during production.

 2 stakeholders workshops


After production, turn off the machine slowly.

 2 meetings with district/upazila seed fertilizer monitoring committees


Clean all the parts of the machine thoroughly.

 Sites identified for demo plot

10. Use water to wash the whole machine and make sure no glue-type substance remains on it.

 Sites identified for trial plots  9 open sky shows  17 field days for Aman 2011

11. Then, rub the machine with dry cloth.

 1,900 block survey for Aman 2011

12. Regular water supply to the cooling tank of a diesel engine is a must.

*** 7


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AAPI Bulletin Vol 8 October2011 (English)  
AAPI Bulletin Vol 8 October2011 (English)  

AAPI Bulletin Vol 8 October2011 (English)