From the New Nation:
Land fertility in Rangpur region comprising Kurigram, Gaibandha, Nilphamari and Lalmonirhat districts is falling alarmingly due to shortage of green manure, sulphur and zinc in the soil.
Unrestricted use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides were also contributed in reducing fertility of lands, agricultural experts here said.
They said green and animal elements are required at least by 3 percent, but now 1.5 to 2 per cent elements are available. Only 10 to 15 years ago, the soil of the region had contained six percent of such elements. Cow dung, Khesari, wastages, rotten straw are not at all used now a days.
Dried cow dung were widely used as fuel in the rural areas and one kilogram of Khesari pulse is sold at Taka 50 to 60 in the village market. Dhoincha plants are not also used in the soil to increase fertility of land as these sold valuable fuel to replace wood in the winter. Agricultural experts said five tonnes of cow-dung are necessary to keep normal fertility of one hectare of land, but cow-dung is not at all used in soil in the region.
Unrestricted use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides has been affecting public health. Tubewell water and vegetables contain the remains of pesticides. After rainfall the wastages of chemical fertilizers aand pesticides pollut the tanks and water bodies affecting normal production of fishes.
On the other hand, Bangladesh Water Development Board sources said nitrate found in the water of Rangpur region is more than the acceptable rate which is harmful to public health.