Study of the impact of intensive cropping on the long term degradation of natural resources in some selected agroecological regions of Bangladesh

Research Grant Reports
[Final Report CF # 2/07]

Irrational use of fertilizer and pesticides is increasingly threatening our ecosystem, health and environment.  The aim of the study was to assess the impact of intensive cropping on the degradation of natural resources in some selected Agroecological Regions of Bangladesh. The study was conducted in three contrasting sites of vegetable farms in Savar, Shibpur and Brahmanbaria sub-districts. Data were generated through focus group discussion, survey, and laboratory tests of soil and water samples. The study found that the use of chemical fertilizers increased substantially. The use of urea fertilizer in different cropping intensities was imbalanced in the study sites. Study found that yield was not increased up to the level even more urea fertilizer was applied. Most of the farmers (70-90%) opined that land productivity had been decreasing in the study sites. Findings revealed that the use of pesticides in vegetable farms was high and frequent. Farmers experienced health problems during and after pesticides application. More than 80% of the respondents mentioned that they did not take any safety measures during pesticides application and preservation. Furthermore, the selection of pesticides, dosage and mode of application were influenced by the dealers’ suggestions. No residue of pesticides was found in laboratory analysis of the water samples. However, around 27% of the farmers perceived that fish had been reducing and 28% opined that water pollution occurred due to wash-out of agrochemicals such as pesticides from agricultural lands to surface water. It is revealed from the previous studies that the use of low doses causes nutrient mining and overdoses of chemical fertilizers caused environmental hazard affecting soil and water quality. The level of soil degradation was higher in high cropping intensity areas. Yields declined despite rising input use indicated that productivity is falling and strongly suggests that land degradation is reducing achievable yields. Irrational use of pesticides affected health of farmers.
Intensive awareness training of farmers on safety measures regarding application of pesticides and its rational use is necessary to avoid potential health and environmental hazards. Balanced fertilizer use as well as use of manure can reduce land degradation in the study sites. 

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Date and language
Jun 2009
Personal Author
Agris Subject Categories: 
Agrarian structure
Agris Subject Categories: 
Crop husbandry
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