Farmers find hope in solar-powered irrigation

EAM Asaduzzaman

Life is easier now for Abu Taleb, 45, a potato farmer of Saddyo Puskuruni village in Rangpur.

A year ago, high irrigation costs for diesel-run pumps, which he bore out-of-pocket, made it difficult for him to provide for his three children.

Now, after switching to solar-powered irrigation, his livelihood has changed for the better. “I can now afford new clothes and nutritious food for my family,” he said.

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Shoilmari: A river dead, livelihoods endangered

Dipankar Roy

The once mighty Shoilmari river in Khulna’s Batiaghata upazila can now only be called a river on paper. In just three years, it has been filled with silt.

The once 150-metre-wide river has now turned into a 3 to 4-metre narrow channel. Boats cannot sail there in low tide and people can cross its stretch by walking.

Experts say the lack of upstream flow, unplanned dams, and construction of sluice gates are responsible for the river’s death. Besides, after piling pillars for Rupsha Rail Bridge, the connecting river Shoilmari was silted within a short period.

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Countrywide heavy rains until 13 Sep

News Desk :

Photo: collected

The current heavy rains brought on by the depression at the Bay of Bengal are predicted to last until Tuesday, according to the weather forecast service.

The low will weaken in next 24 hours and move towards the plain land through Odisha and towards Chhatishgarh through West Bengal afterwards.

Mostafa Kamal Palash, a weather and climate researcher at the University of Saskatchewan in Canada, gave this information after reviewing various models of weather forecasting.

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120 hills disappeared from Chattogram in 4 decades

An environmental group called Bangladesh Environment Forum alleged Sunday that 120 hills had vanished from Chattogram city in the past forty years.

The port city’s hills decreased from 32.37 square kilometers in 1976 to 14.02 square kilometers in 2008, according to a written statement from the forum’s general secretary, Aliur Rahman. He was addressing during a press conference held at the Chattogram Press Club.

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A young agro enthusiast helping farmers in Tangail

Mirza Shakil
When the pandemic hit and in-person classes at universities were suspended, Shakil Ahmed, then a final-year student of agriculture department at Noakhali Science and Technology University, had returned home.
But he refused to sit idle, and so, asked his father for a plot of land to farm squash.
The yield was massive as he followed modern methods. After that, he cultivated more vegetables and fruits, including cucumber, melon and watermelon on more land. This time too, he

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Brood fish release sample eggs in Halda

Brood fish in the Halda have released sample eggs – indicating full spawning – since Saturday night at various points of the river.
Egg collectors got 200-500 grammes of eggs on average since Saturday night from the river.
Ashu Barua from Madunaghat area, a seasoned egg collector, told The Daily Star that they started coming across the eggs since Saturday night and hope to see full spawning soon.
Professor Manzoorul Kibria, an eminent Halda researcher, told

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Ban on catching hilsa to end at midnight after 2 months

The ban on catching hilsa will be lifted at midnight today after two months.
The fisheries department said due to the two-month ban, it will be possible to collect the desired target of 6 lakh tonnes of hilsa fish this time, reports our Barishal correspondent.
However, many fishermen said they are not interested in going to the river with nets now due to Eid.
Kalu Majhi, a fishermam in Kajirhat area of Daulatkhan upazila of Bhola, said, “There are no fish in the river at present. And I will

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Second chance at education for Pirojpur elderly

“I never knew there’s so much beauty and fun hidden inside a book,” said 44-year-old Salma Begum, who learned to read and write very recently.
“I had to blindly trust anyone who could read to let me know the contents of important documents. Now I’m self-sufficient in that regard, and use my own signature instead of thumb impressions,” added a delighted Salma.
This has been possible for a special programme going on at Pattashi Model Government Primary School Centre in Pirojpur’s Indurkani upazila.
People aged 15 to 45 years and

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Barind farmers at mercy of DTW operators

Ethnic minorities suffer more
Suzon Ali . Rajshahi
Farmers in the Barind region are held hostage by Barind Multipurpose Development Authority deep tube well operators.
Some farmers in the region said that deep tube well operators did not irrigate their land properly while others said that operators extracted extra money and ‘undue benefits’ from them.
Talking with New Age, farmers in all the nine upazilas of Rajshahi district alleged various irregularities, corruption and nepotism against BMDA deep tube well operators.
On March 23, two Santal farmers

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Local seeds for local needs

Female farmers of Khulna exchange varieties at fair
Dipankar Roy
Seeds of local varieties – preserved by families for generations – have been the most adaptive way of cultivation for the distinct climatic conditions of the country’s coastal areas.
In what is considered a yearly tradition, female farmers exchange the seeds at the “seed fair”, organised every year by the local farmers’ organisation and non-government development organisation LoCos at Gangarampur Union Parishad ground in Khulna’s Batiaghata upazila.
In the last edition, local women

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Ingenious indigenous innovation

Kabuljan Begum’s eco-friendly oven makes waves across Rajshahi
Anwar Ali
Fourteen years ago, Kabuljan Begum developed an environment-friendly oven to keep herself and her family safe from air pollution caused by open-fire ovens.
Her solution has now become the go-to choice for hundreds of others in the rural areas of Rajshahi region, covering three districts of Rajshahi, Naogaon and Chapainawabganj.
From her remote village in Horidebpur in Rajshahi’s Tanore upazila, some 36 km off Rajshahi city, 55-year-old Kabuljan Begum visits

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Tow month long hilsha fishing ban imposes from today

In a bid to conserve Jatka or juveniles of hilsa, the government has imposed a two-month ban on netting, selling and transporting hilsa in six sanctuaries from today (March 1). Bimal Chandra Das, fisheries officer of Barishal, said the ban is going to be observed across 432km area of six districts, including three in Barishal division.
According to the Fisheries Department, 100km from Shatnal Point in Chandpur district to Char Alexander point in Laxmipur district; 90km from Char Ilisha to Char Pial in Bhola district; 100km from Char Veduria in Bhola district to Char

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Food crisis hits bee colonies

Thousands kill each other, climate change blamed
Emran Hossain
This year’s frequent, untimely winter rain left bees, a key pollinator, in an unprecedented conflict as they died in thousands fighting over food, beekeepers and government agricultural extension officials said.
Affected beekeepers said that they never faced a crisis of food for bees to this extent in more than a decade since they began keeping bees for collecting honey.
While untimely winter rain harmed crop plants physically, eventually leading to reduced flowering, it hampered pollination as well for bees do not come out of their colonies on

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Scientists expect Kakila will roam into water again

Freshwater garfish, known as Kakila in Bangladesh, once found in open water bodies, especially in rivers, canals, haors etc., is a delicious fish that is rich in nutrients, but now it is almost extinct, due to the effects of climate, natural disasters and various man-made habitats, damage to breeding grounds and the number of the fish began decreasing drastically. Although its found in some areas in the region, the quantity is very low.
Hopefully, scientists from the Freshwater Sub-station of the Bangladesh Fisheries Research Institute (BFRI) in Jessore have succeeded in

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The fastest Sailfish caught in the Bay of Bengal

Curious people rushed to see and touch the Sailfish caught in the fisherman’s nets on Wednesday
Two marine fish have been caught in fishermen’s nets in the Bay of Bengal. Fishermen locally call it ‘golpata’ fish because of the shape of its back fins. Experts say, actually these are sailfish, members of the billfish family and are found throughout the warmer waters of the world’s oceans. It is widely considered the fastest fish in the ocean.
Due to the ban on fishing in the sea (Bay of Bengal) for 65 days, the biodiversity of marine fish species or marine aquatic animals has improved. Marine fish are growing in it. For this reason, experts think that large marine fish are being

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Bad days for good farmers in Bangladesh 

Chemically grown pineapples see higher demand
Bad days for good farmers in BangladeshConsumers are falling for chemically grown eye-candy pineapples that look bigger and brighter than the naturally farmed ones but actually taste bland and have less nutrient content.
This trend is hurting the farmers who are not using excessive chemicals while growing the fruit.
To get a firsthand experience of the market trend, this correspondent visited Jalchhatra Bazar in Tangail’s Madhupur on Monday.
Over 1.25 lakh tonnes of pineapple are produced in Madhupur a year, making it one of the country’s biggest pineapple producing

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Three in one

Cost effective agricultural tool made in Dinajpur
Three in oneA locally manufactured harvester in Dinajpur proves to be an all-in-one device, while the cost is relatively low. Anwar Hossain, a 51-year old quack at Dakkhin Basudevpur village under Phulbari upazila, designed the machine that can harvest, thresh and pack paddy or wheat simultaneously.
The machine, which requires only a driver and an operator, can harvest at the rate of one acre per hour, cutting labour costs significantly and outperforming the imported models.
Anwar said: “An imported

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Grabbers feast on Bakkhali river

Lax legal process encourages enchroachers in Cox’s Bazar
Grabbers feast on Bakkhali riverBakkhali river in Cox’s Bazar is getting narrower day by day as the land grabbers are out to encroach on both sides of the river by erecting illegal structures.
Many of the grabbers have either built structures or hung signboards on the encroached land along the banks of the river, stretching over an area of five kilometres from Uttar Nuniachhara to Majhirghat in the town.
The grabbers are also active to grab about 15 kms of river banks in the suburbs, locals sources said.
At least 1,000 illegal

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Unusual rain at end of monsoon

Unusual rain at end of monsoonJust before the end of the monsoon, the country has been experiencing unusual October rains following three drier months in a row when the monsoon was supposed to be most active with heavy rainfalls.
Usually, the country experiences a maximum of eight rainy days in October, the Met office website says. But this time around, the country has already had around 14 rainy days and as per the weather forecast, like yesterday, rainfall may occur today also at
places in the country.
“At the moment, the

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Conqueror of odds

Pirojpur farmer prevails over salinity through innovation
Conqueror of oddsDefying the onslaught of salinity that had long been affecting rice cultivation, a farmer in Pirojpur is now excelling in fish and vegetable farming, setting an example for others to follow.
“Making profits from the combined farming of fish and vegetables is a total shift from the loss era of rice farming,” said Azizur Rahman Mollah alias Hanif, 50, of Uttar Mithakhali village in Mathbaria upazila.
He told The Daily Star that they have 24 acres of land, and rice cultivation was traditionally their main works. But with increased

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