Page 1

AAPI NEWS BULLETIN Accelerating Agriculture Productivity Improvement (AAPI) Volume 11

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

Inside this issue:

NPK Deep Placement Field Trials Working towards a Balanced Fertilizer


Stakeholder Workshops: Building Awareness and Knowledge Transfer Are Keys to Technology Diffusion


Suhila: Hub of Modern Farming


AAPI Events in February 8 2012

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

Happy New Year! This newsletter goes to print as we step up to the task of achieving big targets for the Boro season. We are working overtime to ensure that farmers are aware of fertilizer deep placement (FDP) technology and Guti products, which are available for their use. Despite the cold and the fog, our field monitoring officers (FMOs), field coordinators, field mechanics and senior staff are in the field daily to ensure that our Boro targets are met. This month we reported our Aman 2011 results. You can see that Guti urea continues to reign supreme over the broadcast prilled urea application. Crop yields are up by 17 percent and urea saving is close to 40 kilograms per hectare. In this edition our soil scientist Mainul Ahsan has explained how and why we are working towards deep placement of a balanced fertilizer nitrogen, phosphate, potash (NPK) mix and our training specialist Mahmood Hussain looks at stakeholder workshops as excellent activities to promote the technology and mobilize the community as well as garner support from Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE), local officials, nongovernment organizations (NGOs) and leaders. This month we have highlighted the FDP development going on in Suhila block in Ghagra union of Mymensingh.

January 31, 2012

Suhila is another example of how the farmers in our project area are responding to the technology. In extension, we talk about diffusion of technology. This article describes diffusion in practice. May 2012 prove to be prosperous and rewarding for all. *** Aman Harvest Results The AAPI Block Survey for the Aman season indicated a total of 167,858 hectare (ha) of high yielding varieties (HYV)/hybrid rice [89,420 ha in the Feed the Future (FTF) districts and 78,438 ha in the Mymensingh and Sherpur (M&S) districts] was brought under FDP technology in the AAPI upazilas. FDP coverage for the entire AAPI target area was estimated to be 37 percent of the total HYV/hybrid area (458,903 ha). This divided out as 44 percent in the FTF districts (compared with 12 percent in the 2010 season) and 31 percent in the M&S districts. Based upon the block survey results, about 50 percent of the crop was HYV and local varieties made up the balance. A total of 614,192 farmers used an FDP product during the Aman season. Nine percent were women farmers. This level of “women participation� is consistent with the national statistics of the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS), which shows that 10 percent of rural households are headed by women.

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, Md. Fozlul Hoque, Md. Iqbal Hossain, Agriculture Specialists; Md. Mozammel Haque, Abul Hossain Mollah, Mahmood Hussain, 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 Wahab, Agriculture 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 11 At the end of Aman season, AAPI conducted a sample survey to compute the gross margin for using Guti urea compared with broadcast urea application. The gross margin is the difference between the total value of sales of the agricultural item and the cost of producing that item excluding the cost of family labor. The Aman 2011 gross margin results are presented in Table 1. Table 1. Weighted Average Gross Margin for All Sample Farmers (Taka/ha) Item

Guti Urea

Total Return Total Cost Gross Margin Gross Margin in US $ Gross Margin (%) Benefit Cost Ratio (BCR)

86,777 52,492 34,285 446 65

Broadcast Urea 72,041 54,536 17,505 228 32



Source: Field survey on gross margin Aman 2011. Note: Percentages are rounded to the nearest one.

Yields were measured from 299 crop cuts taken from farmers’ fields. Each site actually had two cuts, one from a urea deep placement (UDP) field and one from a broadcast prilled urea field with the same variety and planting date. Data on yield, grain moisture and inputs of each field were recorded. The difference in yield between UDP and prilled urea fields was computed as paddy at 14 percent moisture. Table 2 indicates a 12 to 23 percent increase in yield using UDP. A “paddy-to-rice” conversion factor of 67 percent is assumed in the calculation of incremental rice yield. The incremental rice production is calculated as 78,054 mt of rice, with a value of US $28.88 million. This is an increase in value of US $172/ha. The block survey found urea saving from using UDP between 29-46 kg/ ha (Table 3). The total saving across the project is estimated to be 6,379 mt for the season (does not include the area of NPK Guti). This gave a saving on the urea subsidy of US $2.65 million.

Table 2. HYV Paddy Yield Calculated From Farmer Field Crop District

Guti Urea Rice Yield (kg/ha)

A. FTF Districts Bagerhat 5,143 Barguna 4,640 Barisal 4,770 Gopalganj 3,512 Jhalokati 4,324 Madaripur 4,930 Patuakhali 4,869 Pirojpur 4,963 Total FTF Districts 4,810 Converted to rice B. M&S Districts Mymensingh 4,772 Sherpur 4,675 Total M&S Districts 4,752 Converted to rice Total AAPI Districts 4,787 Converted to rice

Prilled Urea Rice Yield (kg/ha)

Yield Difference (kg/ha)

% of Yield Increased

4,487 4,072 4,272 3,046 3,694 4,239 4,255 4,215 4,207

656 568 498 466 630 691 614 748 603 404

15 14 12 15 17 16 14 18 14

3,893 4,093 3,931

879 582 821 550 694 465

23 14 21


Source: Farmers’ plot crop cut, Aman 2011, AAPI-IFDC. Note: Paddy converted into rice by 67%. 2



Volume 11

Table 3. Block Survey Results for Urea Saving – Aman 2011 District Bagerhat Barguna Barisal Gopalganj Jhalokati Madaripur Patuakhali Pirojpur Shariatpur Total FTF Districts Mymensingh Sherpur Total M&S Districts Average for All Districts

Guti Urea (kg/ha) 108 112 111 111 111 109 111 112 111 111 112 113 112 112

Prilled Urea (kg/ha) 154 141 151 148 149 152 143 156 154 146 153 147 152 150

Urea Saving (kg/ha) 46 29 40 37 38 43 32 44 43 36 41 34 39 38

Source: Aman 2011 block survey, AAPI-IFDC.

*** nitrogen. We can get urea savings of 30 percent and yield increases of 15 to 20 percent. But what is of the other elements? AAPI promotes the judicious application of balanced fertilizer. Balanced fertilizer management involves all the essential elements.

NPK Deep Placement Field Trials Working towards a Balanced Fertilizer As the population grows and the pressure to grow more food from the same piece of land increases, the soils come under the threat of nutrient depletion. Fertilizer management through introducing deep placement technology is a mechanism to mitigate the threat. Based upon current cropping patterns and cropping intensity, it is estimated that more than 2 million mt of nutrients are being removed from Bangladesh’s soils annually. An estimated 1.8 million ha of land are already severely deficient of the nutrient phosphorus; some 0.4 million ha are severely deficient in potassium. Most farmers emphasize the use of nitrogenous fertilizers, resulting in a serious imbalance in nutrient management. The inefficient use of fertilizers is a primary cause of the declining soil nutrient status. Moreover, the practice of surface applying urea fertilizer contributes to applied nitrogen losses estimated at 65 percent.

Considering these points, IFDC has conducted a series of on-farm research trials at different locations with a view to develop appropriate NPK deep fertilizer management practices for sustainable improvement of soil health and crop production of rice-rice and rice-vegetable cropping systems. From October 2010, under the AAPI project, 66 field trials have been carried out in three different seasons (Boro, Aus and Aman). In Boro season 2012, 35 more field trials on NPK deep placement technology will be established in collaboration with Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI). NPK briquettes are prepared based on site-specific nutrient requirements. This offers potential for higher yields, improved fertilizer efficiency, balanced fertilization and reduced nutrient loss. A simple briquette machine will produce the 2.4-g and 3.4-g sizes of NPK briquettes from prilled urea, DAP, and muriate of potash (MOP). Each

Urea deep placement is now becoming a well known technology with a growing adoption across the country with more efficient use of 3


Volume 11 increase in crop yields, 25 to 30 percent decrease in NPK fertilizer cost and reduced eutrification and volatilization loss of N.

Agro Ecological Zone (AEZ) in the country will have a different ratio. The results are showing that growth of the rice plant is greatly influenced by different application methods and nutrient contents.

The FDP technology is an effective approach for managing mineral fertilizers that results not only in improved fertilizer efficiency but also greater yield with less production cost. Considering this fact, the Bangladesh Agriculture Research Council (BARC) has taken the initiative to conduct field trial/research programs through the NARS Institutes in different dimensions on NPK deep placement not only in rice but also in vegetables. IFDC believes that to address the future food security of Bangladesh efficient fertilizer management through NPK deep placement will be the better low cost option.

In the AAPI trials in Aus and Aman seasons in 2011, there was higher numbers of tillers and panicles in deep placed NPK fertilized plots and this delivered higher yields. Highest yield was recorded with the larger briquette (3.4-g) in both Aus and Aman crops. Yield increments over broadcast application ranged from 18 to 23 percent even though the nutrients applied were greatest in the broadcast treatment. (Figure 1 and Figure 2). It is apparent there are less loss of nutrients and efficient utilization of fertilizer in the deep placed plots than in the broadcast application.

*** Stakeholder Workshops: Building Awareness and Knowledge Transfer Are Keys to Technology Diffusion There are many elements to success in the introduction and rapid diffusion of a new technology. Creating awareness and understanding the benefits of the technology are crucial. Various methods are appropriate in awareness building and knowledge transfer. One particularly effective approach under the Improve Livelihood for SidrAffected Rice Farmers (ILSAFARM) project was the use of well-designed stakeholder workshops that targeted public and private sector stakeholders who impact farmer adoption of FDP technology. Applying a lesson learned under the ILSAFARM project, AAPI is implementing a series of stakeholder workshops at the district and upazila levels. The main objective is to create awareness among the relevant stakeholders of the availability and benefits of FDP technology in Bangladesh and to improve participant knowledge of the technology. The ultimate goal is to facilitate farmer adoption of FDP technology and influence the development of a supply system to afford farmers access.

It is apparent that deep placement of NPK briquettes offers potential for higher yields, improve fertilizer use efficiency, balanced fertilization and reduced nutrient losses for sustainable improvement of soil health. The benefits of the technology are about 20 percent

Year 1 in Review – In the first year of implementation, the AAPI project conducted 48 stakeholder workshops (see Table below) with 2,553 stakeholders in attendance (15 percent were women). 4


Volume 11

Stakeholder Workshop Held Under AAPI From October 2010 Through September 2011 District Bagerhat


Venue Upazila Parishad, Bagerhat, Fakirhat, Rampal, Kachua, Morrelganj DC office

Number of events 4

Number of Participants Male Female Total 381 55 436

Participants Upazila Chairman, UNO, UAO, UP Chairman, Female UP members, farmers, briquetters, BCCI dealer & others.





Upazila Parishad Muksuudpur






Sadar, Amtali, Betagi, Gorguna





Upazila Chairman, UNO, UAO, UP Chairman, Female UP members, farmers, briquetters, BCCI dealer & others


Sadar, Babugonj, Agailjhara, Muladi






Sadar, Bauphal, Dasmina, Galachipa, Kalapara Sadar, Nazirpur, Nesarabad, Bhandaria, Mathbaria, Zianogor Rajapur, Kathalia









DC, UNO, UAOs district level officials, BCIC dealers, farmers, NGOs, media. (3 events in Barisal Sadar) Upazila Chairman, UNO, UAO, UP Chairman, Female UP members, farmers, briquetters, BCCI dealer & others. Two events in Patuakhali Sadar Upazila Chairman, UNO, UAO, UP Chairman, Female UP members, farmers, briquetters, BCCI dealer & others.





32 12

1,469 530

237 100

1,706 630





16 48

709 2,178

138 375

847 2,553



Barisal Zone Mymensingh


Sadar, Muktagacha, Trishal, Bhaluka, Ishwargonj, Phulpur, Haluaghat Sadar, Nalitabari, Jhenaigati

Mymensingh Zone Grand Total

The selection of participants for the stakeholder workshops is crucial. The AAPI project works to identify an appropriate cross-section of participants from the public and private sectors, including: participants from government, semigovernment offices, private sector, nongovernment offices, political leaders, media personnel and individual farmers. Included are participants from the civil administration, DAE, Bangladesh Agriculture Development Corporation (BADC), Bangladesh Chemical Industries Corporation (BCIC) dealers, fertilizer briquette

DC, UNO, UAOs dist level officials BCIC dealers, farmers, NGOs media & other Upazila Chairman, UNO, UAO, UP Chairman, Female UP members, farmers, briquetters, BCCI dealer & others

Upazila Chairman, UNO, UAO, UP Chairman, Female UP members, farmers, briquetters, BCCI dealer & others. 4 events held in Mymensingh Sadar. DC, UNO, UAO, district level officials, dealers, farmers, media etc. Upazila Chairman, UNO, UAO, UP Chairman, Female UP members, farmers, briquetters, BCCI dealer & others.

owners, farmer representatives, members of Integrated Pest Management (IPM)/Integrated Crop Management (ICM) clubs, teachers, religious leaders and members of print and electronic media. The upazila-level stakeholder workshops emphasize creating awareness and knowledge building among upazila-level officials of DAE and other relevant organizations and officials (e.g., chairmen of union Parishad, women members of union Parishad, selected farmers, fertilizer dealers, 5

Volume 11

AAPI NEWS BULLETIN fertilizer briquette owners and members of print and electronic media). Typically at the upazila stakeholder workshops, the chairman of upazila Parishad attends as the chief guest while the concerned upazila nirbahi officer (UNO) presides over the workshops. In addition to the stakeholder workshops conducted at the district and upazila levels, some specialized workshops are organized for specific groups that can influence public opinion. For example, in the first year of AAPI implementation, workshops were organized exclusively in M&S districts for the mosque Imams (religious leaders) who command special respect from the local people/farmers and can motivate them on the adoption of FDP/UDP technology. Those will be implemented in other areas as opportunities develop.

Jamsher Ahmed Khandker, Khulna deputy commissioner (DC), chaired the session. Ms. Ishrat Jahan, AAPI project coordinator, and Dr. AMM Shawkat Ali, AAPI policy adviser, also attended. The proceedings of the workshop started with the welcome address by Mr. Mahmood Hussain, AAPI senior training specialist, followed by a project overview of Boro season by Ms. Jahan. Then keynote presentation on salient features of FDP technology, its potential and prospects in Bangladesh was given by Mr. Md. Mofizul Islam, AAPI senior agriculture specialist. Mr. Islam discussed at length about the disadvantages of using prilled urea, the main features of FDP technology, the benefits of using Guti urea and Guti NPK and he also discussed the network of briquette machine owners who supply the briquettes. He also cited success stories of Guti urea adoption by farmers in the Barisal region.

Specialized workshops are also organized for fertilizer dealers, retailers and fertilizer briquette owners who are directly linked with AAPI project activities regarding production and supply of Guti urea. They play a vital role in motivating farmers on the use of UDP technology to promote their products.

Open discussion was held and participants were requested to give their opinions on the technology and ask questions, if any. Eighteen participants actively participated in the discussion and gave valuable suggestions for promotion of Guti urea. The open discussion was followed by addresses given by the chief guest, special guest and the chairperson who offered valuable suggestions for the promotion of UDP technology at the farmers’ level.

Workshops are also held with district and upazila officials of DAE, e.g., deputy detectors (DDs), district training officers (DTOs), upazila agriculture officers (UAOs) and agricultural extension officers (AEO). Such workshops are generally held at the advent of each crop season to educate stakeholders about the AAPI seasonal work plan. In these workshops, problems and issues related to project implementation are discussed for timely implementation of programs.

Dr. Shawkat Ali summed up the outcome of the workshop. Major recommendations of the workshop are:  To attain food sufficiency in Bangladesh, adoption of technologies such as FDP technology should be promoted by all concerned.

Year 2 Plans and Progress – During the second year of the AAPI project, stakeholder workshops are planned for all seasons. In the current Boro season, 51 workshops are being conducted at the district and upazila levels. In the latest workshop (held on December 22, 2011, in the conference room of Khulna Circuit House), a total of 55 stakeholders participated. Included were representatives of the district and upazila administrations, DAE officials, BADC officers, college and school teachers, religious leaders, dealers, briquetters, farmers of the ICM/IPM club, NGO officials and AAPI-IFDC officials. Mr. Md. Mashiur Rahman, Khulna divisional commissioner, was the chief guest and Mr. Abdul Aziz, Khulna deputy director, was the special guest. Mr. Md.

 All stakeholders will contribute jointly to the promotion of Guti urea use because this technology reduces the cost of production and increases farm output.  AAPI will include farmers’ cooperatives and Imam groups as trainees.  AAPI will continue efforts on production of Guti urea at BCIC factories. Based on the recommendations of the workshop, necessary changes, adjustments and improvements will be made in the modus operandi of AAPI 6


Volume 11

project implementation. The example of the Khulna workshop was cited to inform potential stakeholders about the positive outcomes of such workshops.

fellow farmers at Suhila block in Ghagra union of Mymensingh, 120 kilometers north of Bangladesh’s capital, Dhaka.

In the next few years, stakeholder workshops will continue to be included as valuable AAPI project activities. It is hoped that these workshops will play a vital role in quick promotion of Guti urea and NPK Guti technology in the project areas and thus will have positive contributions in achieving the project goals of sustainable increased agricultural production and improved food security and rural incomes. *** Suhila: Hub of Modern Farming Farmers deep placing Guti urea in their Boro crop

A soft breeze pats the sheaves gently and, in a moment, passes over the greenery stretched over the long patch of land creating a wave on the plant tops. The paddy sheaves move at the soft embrace of the afternoon breeze. What could be a more beautiful sight!

During this Boro season, around 80 percent of nearly 1,100 farmers in Suhila are using Guti urea. And almost all of them will use Guti urea during the next Boro season, they say. The farmers are so excited about this that many of them are competing among themselves to become the best farmer, says Abdul Jabbar, a sub-assistant agriculture officer (SAAO) in Mymensingh. “They have mobile phones and call me anytime during the day or night if they have a problem or need information. I try to help them to the best of my ability,” Jabbar said.

Standing in the midst of his paddy field, Abdul Khaleque touches some sheaves gently, lest he bruises the plants. He enjoys the sweet, somewhat wild smell coming from the young paddy plants. “It is a wonderful creation of nature!” the greybearded man thinks. This very paddy field has transformed the not-soeducated man into a community leader. Now 58, the Bangladeshi farmer, who only completed eighth grade, now leads farmers across Bangladesh, predominantly an agriculture-based economy in South Asia, in practicing modern farming techniques.

Jabbar said he divided Suhila block into eight subblocks to facilitate motivation of the farmers. Since the farmers remain busy during the day, he organized meetings in sub-blocks at night. “At each sub-block, I formed a committee and named one farmer to be leader of the group,” Jabbar says, adding that the team leader informs all others about the meeting schedule. “The response was simply amazing.”

Farming has been Khaleque’s main livelihood for over three decades. “I know the nature of the plants. I know what they need for proper growth,” Khaleque says, sharing his enthusiasm in using Guti urea, a fertilizer deep placement technology that uses less fertilizer, enhances rice productivity and protects the environment.

This shift among the farmers to using Guti urea and developing a community bond with other farmers has required assistance from the local officials of the DAE and the US-based IFDC organization. The USAID-funded AAPI project is promoting FDP technology to interested farmers. Khaleque says he and other farmers in Suhila first applied Guti urea technology after they received training in 2008, organized by DAE and IFDC.

The IFDC awarded him, along with four others, with a crest and some cash in 2009. He successfully used Guti urea on two acres of his land and markedly enhanced his yield. He also shared his knowledge of the technology with his 7

Volume 11

AAPI NEWS BULLETIN Since then farmers of Suhila have rapidly embraced this technology. The Bangladesh Agricultural University and the AAPI project invited Khaleque to share his success story often. “I am a man of the soil. I never thought that people would respect me so much. I try my best to help when farmers come to me with questions or problems. I think we can grow together,” he says.

population is increasing at a high rate, agricultural land is declining and input costs are rising. The technology has increased incomes and changed the farmers’ standards of living. The father of five children, Khaleque says his improved income has allowed him to start a poultry farm. One of his sons is responsible for it. Fazlul Haque, another farmer in Suhila who is using the technology, says he managed to save money from his increased income and bought three cows two years ago. He now has six cows and two of them provide milk.

During the 2008 Boro season, the DAE and IFDC prepared a demonstration plot on one acre of land. They held a “field day” there, which was attended by then DAE Director General Shamsul, Haque, local leaders and district agriculture officials. The DAE and IFDC officials taught the farmers that the seedlings should not be older than 35 to 40 days and transplanted in lines. As a result, they sprout better, yield healthy rice and give more straw.

“I feel extremely happy to see the farmers changing their lives on their own initiative,” says Jabbar. When asked what made him so committed to the farmers’ cause, he smiles and says “Farmers feed the whole nation, not the officials. I am happy to help them – day or night.”

That event created widespread interest among the farmers, who were very impressed by the exceptionally high yield – over 90 maunds (40 Kg=1 Maund) of paddy on an acre of land whereas they previously harvested not more than 60 maunds, even after using more urea.

Suhila is only a few agricultural blocks in Mymensingh where the majority of the farmers are adopting Guti urea technology, says Saiful Alam, field monitoring officer of the AAPI project in Mymensingh Sadar. “This has happened because of the agriculture officials’ strong commitment to the causes of farmers and the nation.”

Initially, Guti urea was not readily available. Abdul Jabbar would help farmers get Guti urea ahead of transplanting time. He also showed 25 laborers how to place the fertilizer beneath the surface soil.

*** AAPI Events in February 2012 In the month of February 2012, AAPI is concentrating its activities for Boro paddy. In this month, the following activities will be carried out.

With the use of Guti urea, weeds and pests have less chance to grow and the paddy plants receive more nutrients from urea all through the season and remain healthier even though he actually applies 35 kilograms less urea than he previously used of granular urea, Khaleque says.

 414 batches of training for Boro farmers  1 training for briquette producers

Khaleque now grows 180 maunds of BR-29 variety rice on two acres of land. Previously, it was only 120 maunds on the same land. The success of Khaleque and other farmers in Suhila attracted media attention to the block. The staterun Bangladesh Television (BTV) and the private satellite television Channel i broadcasted programs on the “astonishing achievements”. These programs attracted many other farmers in the surrounding districts to follow the high achievers. “Suhila is now a model block for the rest of the country,” he says proudly.

 98 demo establish  1 motivational field trip  18 motivational meetings with Boro farmers  20 motivational workshop  1 small business management training  18 open sky shows  8 meeting with district and upazila seed and fertilizer monitoring committee

According to Khaleque, Bangladeshi farmers are glad for this technology, especially when the

*** 8

AAPI Bulletin Vol 11 January 2012 (Eng)  

AAPI Bulletin Vol 11 January 2012 (Eng)

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you