Science And Agriculture Composition
Any planning for the ecomomic development of Bangladesh can feed the hungry and discontended people with heart’s content. Food can be had either by import or by production at home. For Bangladesh import of food is not financially easy. She must produce her own food. We must grow more food. But how? Not by ploughing more and more land, changing parks and lawns and playgrounds into corn-fields, and vegetable gardens, as was sought to be done during the war. The scientist has other methods.
The first step to be taken to increase the fertility of the soil to ensure a higher yield of crop per acre. The traditional farmers are conservative by nature. They rely upon easily available manure like cow-dung, which is certainly good but not sufficient. They must be taught to realize that chemical fertilizers can improve the productivity of land. It requires the help and co-operation of the scientists and technical experts.
Science can help agriculture by destroying the insects and pests control that destroy considerable amount of food grains. Plants may be attacked by these insects at any time. Twenty years ago, for example, the betel plants in some parts of Bengal were attacked by an unknown pest and nothing could be done, because the government had no organisation to control it which could advise the cultivators in such emergencies. The loss was enormous. Another example is the caterpillar that lives on cabbages and its periodic attack is well known to all. Untold damage is done by it. Production should be improved of it but attack of the insects must also be eliminated.
Science can help agriculture in many ways. For this, a national policy is needed. The universities must be more intimately related to the agricultural departments, the advice of the scientist must be treated with respect. New research centers must be established all over the country. The foundation of agricultural universities is a good step. From these universities many research experts spread out to other parts of the country.