Yields of food crops can potentially be increased up to 22 per cent provided proper weed management is put in place, reports UNB.
Experts said this at the 6th conference of Weed Science Society of Bangladesh (WSSB) held at Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI) in Gazipur on Saturday, said a press release.
"Proper implementation of eco-friendly, sustainable and integrated weed management in field crops can increase 18-22% yield in national level, which can contribute in total food production of Bangladesh," stated the BRRI release.
Weed competes with crops for light, nutrients and water thereby resulting yield loss of field crops up to 80-90 per cent in worst cases. In Bangladesh improper weeding causes yield loss that range in between 40 to 50 per cent in rice, 24 to 58 per cent in wheat, almost 49 per cent in maize, 43 per cent in potato, 20 per cent in sugarcane, 75-80 per cent in jute, nine per cent in tea and 25 to 60 per cent in other crops.
In current practice farmers usually do weeding by hand, hoe, mechanical weeder and chemical weeding with herbicide. Hand weeding in field crops is costly, need more money and time consuming. Mechanical weed control is not so much popular due to its unavailability and effectiveness, said the press release.
In case of hand weeding it needs Tk 10,000 to 18,000 per hectare depending on crops. Now farmers are more interested in chemical weed control with herbicide, said the BRRI release adding that herbicide adoption is increasing day by day due to its quick effectiveness and low cost.
But improper herbicide application may cause environmental hazards and may disturb field ecosystem, weed management experts feared at the conference attended by 400 researchers from different organizations, NGOs and agricultural universities.
Md Giash Uddin Mian, vice-chancellor of BSMRAU was present as the chief guest while the special guests were Abul Kalam Azad, director general of BARI, Md Ansar Ali, director (Administration and Common Service) of BRRI, F H Ansarey, managing director and chief executive officer of ACI Ltd.
WSSB general secretary and senior scientific officer of BRRI Agronomy division Md Khairul Alam Bhuiyan presented the keynote paper.
In this conference about 19 scientific papers from different research organisations were presented. They discussed about developing innovative approaches, economic and eco-friendly weed management technologies to address challenges ahead for sustainable agriculture and other social benefits. From the research papers it was observed that crop yield could be increased significantly if proper weed management could be done with integrated approach.
They suggested that, in future emphasis should be given on mechanical and biological weed control. Researchers concluded that low cost weed control measure should be adopted to increase economic gain. Herbicide should be applied in proper time and dose and advanced level research should be carried out about the impact of different groups of herbicide in crop-soil-system.
In this conference a future research programme was undertaken for eco-friendly and sustainable weed management practices that will impact total food production and sustainable development goals in Bangladesh.