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IMPACT OF ECO-FRIENDLY AGRICULTURAL PRACTICES ON CROP PRODUCTION IN BANGLADESH
1.1 General background
A recent investigation by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) on the current status of land productivity in Bangladesh revealed that there is a general trend towards declining or stagnating crop yields. These adverse trends are considered to be the result of intensive cropping through indiscriminate use of fertilizers and pesticides, continuous use of irrigation water, total removal of biomass from the agricultural fields and some other activities.
These have generated new sets of problems such as soil erosion, loss of soil fertility, deficiencies of sulphur and zinc, etc. (Anon,1991). Eco-friendly agriculture is just a comprehensive agricultural production system intensively engaged in accordance with the principles of ecology. The practices that are used in ecological agricultural are known as eco friendly agricultural practice. Eco- friendly agriculture is mainly organic, mechanical, physical and cultural practices of agriculture. (Joshi and Prabhakarasetty, 2005).
To regain the ecological status it is high time for judicious use of agro-chemicals i.e. removal of agro- chemicals in crop production by giving the emphasis on eco-friendly practices mainly, organic, mechanical, physical and cultural practices. Government became very much concerned about the devastating impact of imbalanced use of agro- chemical and earnestly felt the need for developing the alternative strategies practices that is sustainable productive and environmentally friendly intervention. In the vision 2020, Department of Agricultural Extension introduced the New Agricultural Extension Policy (NAEP) which stated from 1996.
It consists of 11 components; among these one component is “The attention to environmental condition” in crop production. Removal of the use of agro- chemicals by encouraging eco- friendly agricultural farming is steadily gaining popularity through the world and there are strong organic movement every where in Europe and North America. (Joshi and Prabhakarasetty, 2005).
Gradually Bangladesh government is recognizing the removal of agro chemicals by interventions with different eco-friendly agricultural practices in crop production.
Eco- friendly practices can make major positive impact on environment (Mc Robie, 1990). Now a days’ government extension provider of Bangladesh, like DAE is working with projects all over the country. Every project has the major attention on environmental consideration in crop production by removal or reducing agro- chemicals.
Among those projects a major and the largest type of project is Agricultural Extension Component (AEC), whose implementing agency is the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE), associate agencies are seed wing, Agricultural Information Service (AIS) and On–Farm Research Division (OFRD) of BARI. OFRD involved in Farmers Participatory Research activities in the project area. Component strategies of ICM project are:(1) Capacity development of farmers on ICM in crop production (Rice, homestead gardening, food and nutrition,production and use of eco-friendly organic inputs and products ),(2) Development of Departmental Trainers (DTs) to train eco-friendlyICM practices to farmers, (3) To develop Farmers Trainers (FTs) from ICM trained farmers of ICM club to lead farmer to farmers eco-friendly extension services initially within crop sub-sector and later to cover other sub-sectors,(4) To increase Integrated Farming System (IFS),(5) To increase Integrated Nutrient System (INS), (6) To increase Integrated Nutrient Management (INM), (7) To increase Integrated Pest Management (IPM), (8) To increase Alternate Wet and Drying system (AWD) of water management and ultimate target of the above mentioned activities and system is to decrease/remove indiscriminant use of agro-chemicals for creating environmental intervention by encouraging eco-friendly agricultural practices in crop production through Farmers Field School (FFS) approach which is directly controled by ICM project.The farmers of Farmers Field School (FFS) receive 20 weeks (140 days) eco-friendly agricultural related activities and training (serial above no 1 to 8) directly conducted by ICM project through the ICM resource personnel (master trainers), district and upazilla level resource personnel of DAE and other resource personnel related to the department like DLS,DOF,NGOs,environment related departments and eco-friendly agriculture related stakeholders. After finishing 20 sessons season long training the 50 (25male+25female) farmers of FFS establish a ICM club in that respective area in which 50 trained farmers are directly supervised by ICM project for practicing eco-friendly agriculture in crop production. As a result the ICM club farmers save the money by minimizing production cost.
Some of the NGOs, private extension providers, provide various types of training on eco-friendly agricultural practice for their group members and ICM members, other than 140 days training for ICM farmers by ICM project both DAE and NGOs providing continuous training and other input facilities to the ICM members to increase their knowledge and to form a favorable attitude and adoption towards eco-friendly agricultural practices in crop production.
1.2 Statement of problem
The crop land of Bangladesh has been losing its fertility by using anti- natural practices like chemical fertilizers and chemical pesticides. Murakami (1991) stated that the anti- natural agricultural practices degrade the soil and ecological balance in many ways resulting poor output. The anti-natural practices increase the cost of production in one hand and decrease the microbial activities of the soil on the other, which creates new hazardous situation in the entire crop production system including health hazards. Chemical fertilizers and chemical pesticides not only contaminate surface water, they also affect fish population and health as well.
Farmers of Bangladesh can not depend on 100% eco-friendly agricultural practice. Proportion of plant nutrient contains is poor in organic fertilizer. So farmers can supply plant nutrient easily by using chemical fertilizer. On the other hand, it is very difficult to control without chemical pesticides and fertilizers at the time of severe pest attack and sever nutrient deficiency in crop field respectively. For these reasons, farmers use chemical fertilizer and chemical pesticides for crop production. But in considering the environmental impact, judicious use/ removal of agro-chemical in crop production are major intervention to regain the lost of ecological status. Keeping this in view, government became very much concerned about the devastating impact of imbalanced use of chemical fertilizer and pesticides and earnestly felt the need for developing knowledge, attitude and adoption practices as an eco-friendly agricultural strategy that is sustainable, productive and environmental friendly. Since 1976 Proshika has been working with DAEs project group members towards development of this alternative strategy termed as judicious use/ removal of agro-chemicals in crop production considering environmental impact (Proshiaka, 2002). Unnayan Bikalper Nithnirdharony Gobeshona(UBNG), a private extension providing organization act as an NGO with DAEs project group members/ ICM club members.
Actually, the concept on judicious use/ removal of agro-chemicals in crop production through encouraging the use of organic, mechanical, physical and cultural practices of agriculture started in the 80s and 90s decades by the name of Strengthening Plant Protection Service (SPPS) Phase- I and II, which popularly known as Integrated Pest Management (IPM). Recently the IPM project so far conducted by DAE and providing the project facilities in 95% upazila of the country are in collaborating activities with ICM club with their revenue budget. From the beginning of 2000s more than 40 projects are operated by DAE in different names, focusing the main slogan as judicious use /removal of agro-chemicals considering environmental impact in view.Among those projects ICM is the largest and directly providing Integrated Farming System (IFS), Integrated Plant Nutrient System (IPNS), Integrated Nutrient Management (INM), Integrated Pest Management (IPM) etc. All of the management activities and systems of ICM project conducting 20 sesson training for the farmers (25 male and 25 female) through FFS approach and form ICM club all over the country. Their common view of intervention is environment- friendly agriculture through eco friendly practices in crop production.
NGOs and private extension providers also collaborating with ICM project and providing various types of training course with ICM project to increase the eco- friendly knowledge on agriculture of ICM farmers group members and to form a favorable attitude towards removal of agro-chemicals in crop production. Side by side ICM project provide financial supports and other input facilities to the ICM farmers group members for eco-friendly practice in crop production. Considering environmental impact in view it is necessary to document the changes occurred in knowledge, attitude and adoption practices of eco- friendly agriculture.
This instigated the researcher to ask some relevant questions as follows:
(i) What are the socio-demographic charactersitics of the respondents?
(ii) What are the levels of respondents in respect of knowledge about eco- friendly practices?
(iii) What are the levels of respondents in respect of attitude lowards eco- friendly practices ?
(iv) What are the levels of respondents in respect of adoption of eco- friendly practices ?
(v)What are the impact of eco-friendly practices measuring the differences between pre and post involvement of the respondents in respect of of knowledge, attitude and adoption change and also livelihood change.
(vi) What are the relationship between the selected characteristics of the respondents and their changed in knowledge, attitude and adoption?
(vii) What are the main contributing characteristics of the respondents on their knowledge attitude and adoption of eco-friendly practice?
(viii) What are the problems faced by the respondents to use eco-friendly practices?
In view of the above circumstances, the researcher attempted to undertake the present study with the following specific objectives.
1.2 Objective of the study
The following specific objectives of the study are:
(1) To determine the socio-demographic characteristics of the respondents.
(2) To determine the impact of eco-friendly practices in respect of knowledge, attitude, and adoption practices and livelihood changes of the respondents.
(3) To determine the relationship between the selected characteristics of the respondents and their changes in knowledge, attitude and adoption.
(4) To determine the contribution of the selected characteristic of the respondents to changes their knowledge, attitude, and adoption of eco-friendly practices.
(5) To explore the problems facing in adoption of eco-friendly practice.
1.3 Rationale of the study
Eco-friendly agriculture is just a comprehensive agricultural production system. Murakami (1991) stated that the anti natural agricultural practices degrade the soil and ecological balance in many ways. According to Rahaman (2001), a widespread introduction of eco-friendly agriculture in Bangladesh could be justified through the following arguments: (i) Eco- friendly farming offer the possibility of long term sustainability. (ii) Eco-friendly agriculture is affordable for resource poor farmers (iii) Problem of rural unemployment could be minimized through ecological farming. (iv) Bangladesh has a long heritage of farming with traditional wisdom, which acts as the basis for ecological knowledge.
In a country like Bangladesh, this approach of farming should get an opportunity to prove its feasibility (Islam, 2002). Recently authority like ICM project under DAE took the initiative for popularization of eco-friendly agriculture among the farmers. It is necessary to examine the impact of eco-friendly agricultural practices in different aspects. Considering these facts, the researcher became interested to conduct the present study on the impact of selected eco-friendly agricultural practices by the farmers.
1.4 Scope of the study
The study is based on five upazila under five district of the country. In this study impact of eco-friendly agricultural practices had determined. This also enable to identify the factors which affect eco-friendly agricultural practices in crop production. It would provide some guiding principles regarding the extent of extension interventions and would ultimately help the extension providers in formulating appropriate technologies of eco-friendly agricultural practices in crop production and would be helpful to develop sustainability in agricultural crop production. With findings of the present research, the concerned authority could expect to select appropriate strategies for establishing eco-friendly agricultural program for crop production in Bangladesh. The development agencies and extension providers would utilize this key information from the impact analysis on eco-friendly agricultural practices properly. However, the overall findings of the study might be supplementing other empirical evidences on different aspects of eco-friendly practices in order to build and conceptualize of ecological agriculture in crop production which also can be helpful to the academicians, researchers, planners and policy makers.
1.5 Hypothesis of the study
A hypothesis is a proportion which can be put to test to determine its validity. It may seem contrary to or in accordance with sense (Goode and Hatt, 1952). In a research study, it is essential to formulae null hypothesis of the research problem. Null hypothesis indicates that there is no relationship between the concerned variables. If a null hypothesis rejected based on the statistical test, it is assumed that there exists relationship between variables. The present study put forward the following null hypothesis:
(i) There is no significant differences between knowledge, attitude and adoption of eco-friendly practices of the respondents with theirpre and post involvement in the projects.
(ii) There is no relationship between selected characteristic of the respondents and the changes in their knowledge, attitude, and adoption of eco-friendly practices.
(iii) There is no contribution of the selected characteristic of the respondents to their knowledge, attitude, and adoption of eco-friendly practices.
An assumption is a proposition that is taken as given in the particular investigation. It is the supposition that an apparent fact or principle is true in the light of available evidence. The researcher had the following assumptions in mind while undertaking this study:
1. The respondent in the sample had the potential for furnishing responses to the queries reflected in the interview schedule.
2. The researcher who worked as interviewer was well adjusted to the social ecosystem of the study area and the data collected by him from the respondents were free from bias.
3. The views and opinions furnished by the farmer included into the sample were representatives of the total population.
4. The respondents were more or less conscious about the use of eco-friendly agricultural practices.
5. The researcher was capable to rate the responses of the farmers with adequate precision.
6. Eco-friendly agricultural practices identified in the study area were sustainable practices evolved through the activities of generaton of the farmers and not projected into the social system from outside.
The study had the following limitations:
(1) This study was conducted in selected areas of Bangladesh.
(2) Many of the factors of farmers and situations were excluded from the investigation due to the limitations of time, money and other resources.
(3) Since the findings were based on the ability of the respondents to recall memory expressed by them, the objectivity of the study was confined to their ability to recall, and also their sincerity and honesty in providing the needed information.
(4) The focus of the study was made mostly on the extent of the use of eco-friendly agricultural practices, its benefits and constraints faced by the farmers in adopting ecological agricultural practices, but it was not possible to investigate other issues of the problems like livestock sector, poultry sector, fisheries sector etc.
(5) There are many and vast areas of ecolocial agriculture like crops, livestock, fisheries, etc. But for this study, knowledge, attitude and adoption of farmers regarding eco-friendly crop production practices was/were considered.
REVIEW OF LITERATURE
The researcher made an elaborate search of available literatures having relevance to the present study. It is mainly concerned with the determination of the impact of eco-friendly agricultural practices in crop production. This is again concerned with the changes in knowledge, attitude and adoption of the respondents after their involvement in eco-friendly agricultural program. The area coverage under ecological agricultural practices and constraints faced by the farmers in using the same is also taken in consideration. The researcher intensively searched internet, available books, journals and printed media of different sources. However, the literatures have been organized into the following sections.
2.1. Meaning and methodological impact
2.1.1. Meaning of impact
Impact is defined in many ways by different authors.There is a lot of definition or meaning of impact is found in the website.Some of them are given below:
? A project`s impacts consist of: all changes that the project causes to the environment; all changes the environment causes to the project; and all cumulative impacts contributes.Impacts of Regional Plan are defined in terms of the difference between the future-with-Plan(FW) situation in 2015 and the future-without-Plan(FWO) situation in 2015.
? A statement about the impact the project will have on the participants, the school, the community, and/or the district.
? Any aspect of an action that may cause an effect: for example, land clearing during construction is an impact, while a possible effect is loss and fragmentation of wild life habitate.
Sybil (1984) defined impact as a forceful collision between two bodies which is sufficient to cause an appreciable change in the momentum of the system on which it acts. Mustafa et al. (1996) clear impact as “assessment that involves the analysis of changes (or their absence) which has occurred due to program intervention and understanding of causal relationships of underlying (or constraining) such changes.
Rogers (1983) termed the impact of extension intervention as “consequences of innovations” and defined as “the changes that occur to an individual or to a social system as a result of adoption or rejection of an innovation”. Consequences of innovations are classified as desirable and undesirable. Desirable consequences are the functional effects of an innovation or technology to an individual or to a social system. Undesirable consequences are those effects of an innovation to an individual or to a social system that are considered as undesirable.
2.1.2 Difference between “impact” and “effect”
Effects are changes which may not last for more than a short period, while impact refers to sustained structural changes related to social well- beings, i.e. changes which have long lasting effect (Mustafa et al. 1996).
2.1.3 Methods of impact assessment
Generally three important methods are used in any impact assessment(Kothari,2005). These are described below in brief.
• Before and after without control design
• After only with control design
• Before and after with control design
Before and after without control design
In this method, a base line survey is conducted before introduction of the intervention or treatment. The intervention is then introduced and at the end of the project again a post survey is done on the same respondents using the same questionnaire. The effect of the intervention would be equal to the level of the phenomenon before the intervention.
Level of phenomenon before intervention = X
Level of phenomenon after intervention = Y
Therefore, the intervention effect = Y – X
The advantage of this method is that it does not require collecting data from other than target beneficiaries of the project and thereby the number of respondents as well cost of the survey can be removed. But the impact obtained through this method is not only the contribution of the project interventions; it is the joint contribution of the project interventions and external interventions, because none of the villages is free from the external interventions. In this situation, to assess the impact of the project, one of the means is to analyze the relationship between the project interventions and change variables is observed that may be attributed as project impact. But it needs very detailed investigation.
After only with control design
In this design two groups or areas – test area and control area are selected and intervention is introduced into the test area only. The dependent variable is then measured in both the areas at the same time. Intervention impact is assessed by subtracting the value of dependent variable in the control area from its value in the test area. This can be exhibited in the following form:
Level of phenomenon after intervention = X
Level of phenomenon without intervention = Y
Therefore, the treatment or intervention effect = Y – X
The basic assumption in such a design is that the two areas are identical with respect to their behavior towards the phenomenon considered. If this assumption is not true, there is the possibility of extraneous variation entering into the intervention effect. However, data can be collected in such a design without the introduction of problems with the passage of time. In this respect this design is superior to before and after and without control design.
Before and after with control design
In case of before and after with control design, the project impact is assessed through eliminating the effects of external interventions. For this, in addition to the project village, control village with similar socio-economic is considered. Survey needs to be conducted both at the project and control villages at the beginning of the project and also at the end of the project. To assess the external impact comparison between baseline information and end of the project information at control village is done. Similarly, comparison between baseline information and end of the project information at the project village is done to get project and external impact. By subtracting the former one from the later, actual impact of the project can be assessed. This design can be exhibited in the following form :
Level of phenomenon
Project village Control village
Before project intervention (t1) A¬1 B¬1
After project intervention (t2) A¬2 B¬2
Change at the end of the project (t2 -t1) (A2-A¬1) = project impact + External impact (1) (B2-B¬1) = External impact (2)
Project impact (1-2) (A2-A1) – (B2-B1)
This design is superior to the above two designs for the simple reasons that it avoids extraneous variation resulting both from the passage of time and from non- comparability of the test and control areas. But at times, due to lack of historical data, time or a comparable control area, one of the first two informal design stated above may be preferred.
Beside the above three methods, another method is frequently used in the impact study by comparing members – non-members of a society/cooperative, credit- non-credit growers etc. (beneficiaries and non- beneficiaries) within the project area.
2.1.4 Methodological impact assessment
(1) WHO (2008) in their study on “towards an assessment of the socioeconomic impact of arsenic poisoning in Bangladesh” used control (no intervention) and intervention (implementation of mitigation method) i.e. after only control design.
(2) Hanchett et al. (2002) in their study on increasing awareness of arsenic in Bangladesh : lesson from a public education program assessed impact by using after only control design i.e., the researchers selected two groups of respondent, one group were influenced by a project and the other group was not connected with the project.
(3) JICA and AAN (2004) conducted a study to assess the impact of an arsenic mitigation project entitled “Integrated Approach for Mitigation of Arsenic Contamination of Drinking Water in Bangladesh”. They used before and after without control design.
(4) Gofran (2006) used after only without control design to determine the impact of micro-credit program on the livelihood of rural farmers in Bangladesh.
(5) Roy (1986) used member-non-member comparison technique in an impact study on cooperatives.
(6) Ali (2001), in his study on impact of technology transfer performance of the cane development workers of sugarcane mills on the growers also used beneficiary-non-beneficiary groups comparison of the mill zones as well as between the farmers of sugar mills and non-sugar mill zones. This method is generally used where benchmark data were not available and comparisons are to be made among the farmers of the same areas living side by side. Non-members (or similar groups) are considered a ‘control’ and members (or similar groups) are treated as ‘experimental’.
(7) Ahmed (2003) in his study on impact of shrimp farming on socio-economic, agriculture and environmental conditions assessed impact by using Impact Evaluation Model (IEV), where IEV = Post-projected value, i.e, before and after without control method.
(8) Rahman (1994) in his study on Gono Unnayan Prochesta’s (GUP) sugarcane extension program’s impact on sugarcane growers used GUP-non-GUP sugarcane farmers’ comparison from the same area.
(9) Islam (2006) completed a research work on Sustainable Livelihood of Rural Community through Comprehensive Village Development Program (CVDP) of Bangladesh Rural Academy for Development. The researcher used after only control design i.e, the researcher compared CVDP village’s respondent with non-CVDP village’s respondent to measure the effect of Comprehensive Village Development Program on the beneficiaries.
(10) Torab (2007) used before and after without control method while assessing impact of New Agricultural Extension Policy (NAEP) interventions on changing of small farmers livelihood in Bangladesh.
(11) Rosenboom (2004) used before and after without control design while assessing the impact of an arsenic mitigation project entitle “UNICEF/DPHE Fifteen Upazila Arsenic Mitigation Project”.
(12)Proshika, 1999 reported that 90% of Proshika members achieved some increase income.Among the members having above 13 months duration, about 20-22% household’s income increased by more than 25%while 25% household’s income increased by more than 50%.The income difference was the largest(19%) between new members and those of having membership duration 13 to 48 months.there income difference was significant at 1% level.
2.2 Principles and concept of eco-friendly agriculture
2.2.1 Eco-friendly agricultural practices
Farmers use different types of inputs in different doses for agricultural farming operations. On the basis of input use, types of agricultural farming operations may be classified into two broad categories:
• Fully chemical farming, In this type of agricultural farming, plant nutrients are supplied only by chemical fertilizers, while pests are controlled by only chemical pesticides. Farmers sometimes use recommended doses of chemical fertilizers and pesticides for agricultural farming operations. But sometimes they use excess doses of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Consequently, it becomes harmful to the soil, water and air as well as environment.
• Sustainable farming: where sustainability of yield, profit, soil and whole agro-ecosystem are to be considered simultaneously. Joshi and Prabhakarasetty (2005) stated that sustainable agriculture aims at developing stable production system.
There are some farming system resulted into many integrated methods now popularly called Integrated Farming System (IFS), Integrated Nutrient Management (INM), Integrated Pest Management (IPM),. Integrated Plant Nutrient System (IPNS) for nutrient management and Integrated Pest Management (IPM) for pest management in agricultural farms directly controlled by Integrated crop Management (IPM) project under Agriculture Extention Component of DAE.
Non-chemical farming: Different experts and scientists termed it with different terminologies. The terms are ‘organic agriculture’, ‘zero-chemical farming’, ‘bio-dynamic farming’, ‘compost farming’, ‘sewage farming’, ‘and mixed farming and so on.
(1) Li and Li (2000) stated that Chinese Ecological Agriculture (CEA) is an agricultural system with ecological rationality and a positive function (recycling), which is created and developed through system of engineering methods according to ecological and economic principles.
(2) Narwal et al. (2000) of Haryana Agricultural University, India gave the definition of ecological agriculture as those practices which reduce the use of outside inputs on farms.
(3) Remmers (1993) defined ecological agriculture as those systems, which have arisen as a reaction to the dominant conventional agriculture of modern times and it is aimed at ensuring sustainable land use.
(4) According to Zhengfang (1995) ecological agriculture is a comprehensive agricultural production system intensively engaged in accordance with the principles of ecology.
(5) Ecological agriculture, also popularly known as organic farming, now-a-days has been emerged as a new approach to sustainable agriculture. Many authors consider it to be the farming system which best fulfils the requirements of sustainability (Lampkin, 1990; Gerber and Hoffmann, 1998). All possible non-chemical methods are used for nutrient and pest management for this type of agricultural farming.
(6) Joshi and Prabhakarasetty (2005) stated that zero-chemical farming is a method of farming, where the use of synthetic chemicals is avoided in toto.
(7) Joshi and Prabhakarasetty (2005) revealed that essentially bio-dynamic farming involves use of cosmic rays and therefore claims that cosmic energies of nature could be effectively utilized to enrich a natural source of nutrients-which could be used as rich manure.
(8) USDA Study Team on Organic Farming (1980) defined that organic farming is a production system which avoids or largely excludes the use of synthetically compounded fertilizers, pesticides, growth regulators, and livestock feed additives.
(9) According to Jaisingh (2005) agriculture without chemicals, chemical fertilizers or sprays is generally understood as organic agriculture.
(10) Heavy reliance is made on digested manure as the main source of nutrients in compost type of framing (Joshi and Prabhakarasetty, 2005).
(11) Fukuoka (1985) reported that he was able to demonstrate in his Japanese farm and it was possible to manage the crop with least interference, with no chemical fertilizer/pesticide and simultaneously build up the soil fertility.
(12) Humus farming is a type of farming, wherein the crop is expected to grow by utilizing the humus formed out of constant decomposition of bio-mass (Joshi and Prabhakarasetty, 2005).
(13) According to Joshi and Prabhakarasetty (2005) mixed farming is a type of farming wherein crop husbandry activity is combined with allied activities such as animal husbandry like cattle, goat, sheep, poultry, duck rearing, fisheries etc.
(14) According to Joshi and Prabhakarasetty (2005) natural farming ssignifies the method of farming, where cultivation of a crop is left to the natural forces in a given place.
2.2.2 Principles of eco-friendly practices
• Ensure as much or more productivity as chemical agriculture,
• Don’t disturb the natural environment, principles of eco-friendly agriculture is,
• Ensure sustainability,
• Depend less on external inputs (Murkami 1991)
As stated by Joshi and Prabhakarasetty (2005) the basic principles of organic farming or ecological agricultural practices can be enumerated as follows :
(1) All possible organic sources available in nature should be used in digested/semi-digested/undigested condition to supply the plant nutrients.
(2) The process of biological nitrogen fixation should be encouraged in all possible ways during the process of crop husbandry. Alternation of cropping systems, inoculation of suitable bacterial culture and management for better bacterial activity in the soil may help in better nitrogen fixing activities in the soil.
(3) A crop should be able to grow and yield successfully utilizing the nutrients from soil of high fertility by enhanced microbial activities.
(4) The human interference in the crop husbandry activities should never obstruct the natural process of an eco-system and should never upset the natural balance available between components of an eco-system. On the contrary, such activities should be supportive of natural processes.
(5) Natural resistance of some crops of pest and diseases should be conveniently exploited for the benefit of crop production. No practice, which would suppress the natural resistance, is encouraged in organic farming.
(6) Nature’s friends such as earthworm and spiders should be recognized and their activity should be encouraged for the benefit of soil fertility, crop growth and pest control.
(7) Pests and diseases of a crop should be essentially controlled by natural enemies, predators, bio-control agents or by use of natural products/bio-extracts.
2.2.3 Environmental pollution and environmental knowledge
Now-a-days environmental problem is a threatening concern throughout the world because of the global environment which is changing rapidly. As environment involved the surroundings, where we live and in which a range of development activities are performed for our private and public life, these two cannot be separated from one another. Man’s relationship with his environment and more particularly with other human beings, animals, plants and inanimate objects is reflected in and interacts with his imagination and aspirations. Thus, environmental issues are directly related with the existing conditions of human life, their options in the use of material resources and sharing the same with others. It is an interlinked and interlocked system mostly directed to ensure a balance between the different components (Nishat A.et al, 2001).
An investigation by the United Nations, Food and Agriculture organization (FAO) on the current status of land productivity in Bangladesh revealed that there is a general trend towards declining or stagnation crop yields. These adverse trends are considered to be the result of intensive cropping through indiscriminate use of fertilizers, pesticides, continuous use of irrigation water, total removal of biomass from the agricultural fields and some other activities those have generated new set of problems such as soil erosion, loss of soil fertility, deficiencies in sulphur and zine etc. (Report of the Task Forces, 1991).
Hossain (2000) in his study on farmers knowledge of Binadhan-6 in the Boro season found that highest proportion (66 percent) of the farmers possessed medium knowledge, 21 percent low knowledge and lowest proportion (14 percent) possessed high knowledge.
Nurzaman (2000) found that 60 percent of the FFS (Farmers’ Field School) farmers had medium, 25 percent low FFS farmers was found to have high agricultural knowledge. The majority (55 percent) of the non-FFS farmers had low agricultural knowledge and rest (45 percent) of the non FFS farmers had medium agricultural knowledge and rest (45 percent) of the non FFS farmers had medium agricultural knowledge.
Sattar (1994) listed many problems, adverse effect or hazardous action of fertilizers in soils, crops, human health, air, water and other environments. Some of the major problems included the following :
i. Decrease the organic matter and iodine content in soils, make soils harder, more acidic or alkaline,
ii. Create some diseases to certain fish species,
iii. Decrease soil organisms, earth worms or other organisms in soils,
iv. Reduce fertility status in soils,
v. Change the taste and quality of some fruits, vegetables and other crops,
vi. Pollute the surface as well as ground water, etc.
Dhaliwal et al. (1996) stated that the insect pests are controlled with the use of chemicals which have destructive influence on the useful fauna, anti create environmental pollution. Islam (1990) opined that the success of pesticides in controlling on a short term basis can not be denied but their long term effect on the ecosystems including human health and environment are very much doughtful for two major regions. One is the rapid evolution of new breed pests, resistant to the pesticides applied, and another in the increasing pesticide hazards. According to Swaminathan (1991) indiscriminate use of pesticides, fungicides and herbicides could cause biological imbalance as well as to increase the incidence of cancer and other diseases through the toxic residues being present in gains or other edible parts of the plant.
Goni (1997) reported that use of pesticides kill beneficial creatures and insects and make the land fertile. Beside, the indiscriminate use of pesticides create a resistance against insects and pests which in turn creates an increased threat to the crops.
According to Hossain et al. ( 1996) harmful pesticides are being indiscriminately used in different fields for so called “green revolution” particularly for HYV rice crops. The different destructive pesticides are being used include Dieldrin, DDT, Nogos, Sumithion, 13MC, Diaginon etc. the direct and indirect residual effect of these pesticides caused environmental degradation in rice ecosystem year after year.
Islam (1990) reported that pesticides kill non target organisms including parasites and predators of pests that were innocuous prior to the application of pesticides, resulting in out break of those pests. Insect psollinators, birds, fish and other animals have been killed by pesticides. Repeated application of insecticides over a long period to protect vast areas of rice fields have been reported to have serious adverse effect on the microbial pollution, which are essentially needed for maintaining soil health. Reazxuddion (1994) stated that insecticides in soil disrupt the life cycle of many animals and micro organisms which are beneficial. Some of these chemicals are taken up by plants. Sometimes the does is so high that it destroy useful plants.
Satter (1994) reported that the pesticides after application directly and indirectly come in contact with plants domestic and wild lives, aquatic and terrestrial lives and soil environment and create minor to severe hazards to the biodiversity. Reazuddin (1994) stated that poisonous chemicals used to control injurious insects and also killed large number of beneficial insects. Insects have their enemies, Large number of small insects of the order Hymenoptera parasites, eggs and larvae of phytophagous insects and control them Lady bird beetles control many crop pests. Ants are predators of ninny scale insects and aphid. Spraying of insecticides also kill them.
2.3 Knowledge, attitude and adoption of eco-friendly agricultural practices
The literatures related to knowledge, attitude and adoption of eco-friendly agricultural practices are discussed bellow;
(1)Nurzaman (2000) revealed that the FFS farmers and Non-FFS farmers differed significantly in respect of their knowledge, attitude and adoption practice on IPM. The FFS farmers had a significant higher knowledge on IPM, more favourable attitude towards IPM and higher practice of IPM than Non-FFS farmers.
(2) Ahmed (2002) revealed that adoption of IPM practices did not vary significantly by the male and female FFS beneficiaries, i.e. both male and female FFS beneficiaries were equally innovative in adopting the IPM practices in crop cultivation.
(3) Realizing the importance of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) in cotton production, Kalaskar (1999) carried out a study in Bhatkuli Panchayat Samiti of Amravati district in Maharashtra state of India and observed that overwhelming majority of the farmers adopted cultural and chemical practices as per recommendations. However mechanical and biological practices and use of sex pheromone traps were adopted by negligible percentage of respondents.
(4) Islam (2002) found in his study that majority (87 percent) of the ecological farmers of Proshika had medium adoption while only one percent had low and 12 percent had high adoption of ecological agricultural practices. Considering extent of adoption, the mostly adopted ecological practices, as stated in descending order, were compost, mulching, inter and mixed cropping, multi layer crop, crop rotation, green manuring, mechanical control of pest, disease and pest resistant varieties and botanical pesticides.
(5) Hossain et al. (2001) reported that depletion of soil organic matter is the main cause of low productivity, which is considered as one of the most serious threats to the sustainability of agriculture in Bangladesh. To increase the soil organic matter, farmers use green manure crops, compost, quick compost, cow dung, azolla, etc. However, sufficient food should be produced to keep pace with population growth. To alleviate the hunger and poverty it is to increase the intensity of agricultural production and maintain favourable ecological conditions. Therefore, more organic matter should be used in the farmers fields to sustain the soil fertility in an intensive farming system.
(7) Islam (2003) conducted a study and found that majority (49 percent) of the farmers had medium adoption of organic manures, while 18 percent, 13 percent and 20 percent had high, low and no adoption respectively. The findings also indicated that five percent of the respondent used one or more manures with urea only, while 26 percent, 41 percent and eight percent used one or more manures with two, three and four chemical fertilizers respectively.
(8) Rabbany (2003) showed that only 31.37 percent of the farmers were high users of integrated pest management (IPM) practices, while 86.89 percent were medium and none was low users. Among 10 selected IPM practices “Agro-ecosystem Analysis (AESA) in every crop season” ranked first in the order while “ collection and destroy of eggs and larvae by hand” ranked last.
(9) Sardar (2002) conducted a study and revealed that the majority (45.9 percent) of the farmers had medium, 38.3 percent low and 15.8 percent high adoption of integrated pest management (IPM) practices.
Hamidi (2004) revealed that almost one-sixth (16.81 percent) of the farmers had high, slightly higher than one-sixth (18.53 percent) had low and nearly two-thirds (64.66 percent) had medium adoption of integrated pest management (IPM) practices.
2.4 Relationships between selected factors of the respondents and their knowledge, attitude and adoption
Parveen (1995) revealed that the age of the farm women was not related with their knowledge on the use of fertilizers, pesticides and irrigation water
Hossain (2002) in his study found that age of the farmers had no significant relationship with their knowledge on Binadhan-6 technology.
Hanif (2000) found that in his study that there was a positive significant relationship between age of the respondents and their awareness on environmental pollution in case of Farmer Field School (FFS) farmers. He also found that there was a negative relationship between age of the farmers and their awareness on environmental pollution. Hamid (1995) in his study on farmers’ awareness on environmental pollution caused by the use of agro-chemicals found that age of the farmers had significant negative relationship with their awareness on environmental pollution.
Iqbal (1963), however, in his study on farmers’ attitude towards adoption of modern agricultural practices observed that older farmers had more favorable attitude towards modern and improved agricultural practices as compared to younger farmers.
Islam (2002) in his study found that age and adoption of ecological agricultural practices had no significant relationship.
Hamidi (2004) in his study found that age and Adoption of integrated pest management practices had significant negative relationship.
Islam (2003) in his study found that age and Composite adoption of organic manures had significant positive relationship.
Farhad (2003) found that the education of the rural women farmer had significant and positive relationship with their knowledge in using IPM in vegetable cultivation
Parveen (1995) found that the level of education of the farm women had a significant positive relationship with their knowledge on the use of fertilizer, pesticides and irrigation water.
Ahmed (2002) in his study found that education and Adoption of integrated pest management had significant positive relationship.
Sardar (2002) in his study found that education and Adoption of integrated pest management had significant positive relationship.
Hamidi (2004) in his study found that education and Adoption of integrated pest management practices had significant positive relationship.
Naruka and Bangarva (2004) in his study found that education and Adoption of bio-fertilizers had significant positive association
Hanif (2000) found that in his study there was a positive insignificant relationship between family size of the respondents and their awareness on environmental pollution.
Alam (1997) in his study found that family size of the farmers had positive and significant relationship with their use of farm practices in rice cultivation.
Parveen (1995) revealed that family size of the farm women had a positive significant relationship with their knowledge on the use of fertilizer, pesticides and irrigation water.
Faruque (2002) in his study found that family size and Use of indigenous technical knowledge had positive relationship.
Sardar (2002) in his study found that fsamily size and adoption of integrated pest management had no relationship.
Rabbany (2003) in his study found that family size and use of integrated pest management had no significant relationship.
Farhad (2003) found that farm size of rural women farmer had a positive significant relationship with their knowledge in using IPM in vegetable cultivation.
Parveen (1995) revealed that the homestead of the farm women had a positive significant relationship with their knowledge on the use of fertilizers, pesticides and irrigation water.
Rahim (1961) in his study on diffusion and adoption of agricultural practices observed that farm size had positive relationship with the adoption of agricultural practices. Khan (1993) found in his study on adoption of agricultural practices and related issues that farm size was positively related to the adoption of agricultural practices. Similar finding was also obtained by Gogoi and Gogoi (1989). Hamid (1995), however, found that the area under cultivation of farmers had no significant relationship with their awareness on environmental pollution.
Parveen (1995) also observed that the homestead size of farm women had significant relationship with their awareness on environmental degradation.
Annual family income
Singh (1991) found that income of the farmers was associated with the level of adoption of plant protection measures. He also found that low income farmers had greater tendency to apply less than the recommended doses and lack of knowledge was found the major reasons for non-adoption.
Parveen (1995) stated that the annual income had a positive significant relationship with their knowledge on the use of fertilizers, pesticides and irrigation water.
Ahmed (2002) in his study found that annual income and adoption of integrated pest management had significant positive relationship.
Islam (2002) in his study found that annual income and adoption of ecological agricultural practices had significant positive relationship.
Sardar (2002) in his study found that family annual income adoption of integrated pest management had significant positive relationship.
Rabbany (2003) in his study found that annual income use of integrated pest management had significant positive relationship.
Farhad (2003)reported that cosmopoliteness of the respondents had a positive significant relationship with their knowledge in using IPM in vegetable cultivation.
Hanif (2000) found in his study that there was a insignificant relationship between cosmopoliteness of the respondents and their awareness on environmental pollution in case of FFS farmers.
Parveen (1995) reported that cosmopoliteness of the farm women was not related with their knowledge on the use of fertilizers, pesticides and irrigation water.
Sardar (2002) in his study found that cosmopoliteness and adoption of integrated pest management had significant positive relationship.
Islam (2003) in his study found that cosmopoliteness and composite adoption of organic manures had significant positive relationship.
Rabbany (2003) in his study found that cosmopoliteness and use of integrated pest management had significant positive relationship.
Hamidi (2004) in his study found that cosmopoliteness and adoption of integrated pest management practices had significant positive relationship.
Source of information
Farhad (2003) showed that contact with extension media of the respondents had significant positive relationship with their knowledge in using IPM in vegetable cultivation.
Sana (2003) reported that media exposure of the farmers had a significant positive relationship with their knowledge of shrimp culture.
Raha (1980) found that extension contact of the farmers had no significant relationship their irrigation problem.
Juliana et al. (1991) in his study found that extension agency contact and adoption of integrated pest management practices had significant positive relationship.
Hamidi et al. (2004) in his study found that individual extension contact and adoption of integrated pest management practices had Significant positive relationship.
Thomas et al. (1990) in his study found that group meeting and adoption of integrated pest management practices had significant positive relationship.
Hamidi et al. (2004) in his study found that group extension contact and adoption of integrated pest management practices had significant positive relationship.
Juliana et al (1991) in his study found that mass media exposure and adoption of integrated pest management practices were positively associated.
Hamidi et. al. (2004) in his study found that mass extension contact and adoption of integrated pest management practices had significant positive relationship.
Subject related knowledge is one of the very important traits of an individual. This helps not only broaden horizons but also to accept new ideas. Hossain et al. (2002) found that agricultural knowledge of the island farmers had positive significant relationship with their attitude towards adoption of modern agricultural technologies. Hence, it may be expected that extent of use of eco-friendly agricultural practices may be related with agricultural knowledge
Alam et al. (2004) observed that training experience of rural women had positive significant relationship with their attitude towards homestead vegetable cultivation.
Parvez (2007) concluded from his study that there was no relationship between the training experience of the farmers and their attitude towards IPM for HVCs production..
Islam (2002) in his study found that training exposure and adoption of ecological agricultural practices had no significant relationship.
Alam (2004) in his study found that training received and use of integrated pest management practices had No significant relationship.
Hamidi et. al. (2004) in his study found that training experience and adoption of integrated pest management practices had significant positive relationship. Hence, it may be expected that extent of use of eco-friendly agricultural practices may be related with training experience
Farhad (2003) reported that organizational participation of the respondents had a positive and significant relationship with their knowledge in using IPM in vegetable cultivation.
Parveen (1995) found that group participation of the farm women had a negative significant relationship with their knowledge on the use of fertilizers, pesticides and irrigation water
Decision making ability
Ali (2004) in his study found that decision making ability and adoption of aqua cultural technologies had no significant relationship
Reza (2004) in his study found that participation in decision making with other household members about farming activities and adoption of selected modern agricultural practices had significant positive relationship.
Problem faced in ecological agriculture
Parveen (1993) in his study found that problem confrontation and participation in homestead agriculture had no significant relationship.
Reza (2004) in his study found that problem confrontation and adoption of selected modern agricultural practices had no significant relationship.
Attitude towards ecological agriculture
Nurzaman (2000) in his study found that attitude towards integrated pest management had significant positive relationship.
Hamidi (2004) in his study found that attitude towards integrated pest management practices and adoption of integrated pest management practices had positive significant relationship.
2.5 Conceptual model of the study
Impact of eco-friendly agricultural practices in crop production referred to the agricultural practices without using any chemical inputs like fertilizer, pesticides. A well developed research project rests upon a rationality developed conceptual model that usually composed of synthesis of related empirical evidence, a set of assumptions, principles, interrelationships between concerned variables-all to lead the researcher for valid findings and finally to help him/her explain the observed phenomenon (Akanda, 2005).
The conceptual model of the study is described in terms of three phases as follows:
Theoretical phase Impact assessment on eco-friendly agricultural practices in crop production through Integrated Pest Management (IPM) practices, environment friendly Integrated Farming System (IFS), Integrated Plant Nutrient System (IPNS), Integrated Farming System (IFS), Integrated Nutrient Management (INM) under the project of Integrated Crop Management (ICM) now a high terms to attained sustainable agriculture to check ‘ environmental soil degradation’, ‘air pollution’, ‘water contamination’ and ‘predator elimination’ through indiscriminate use of agro-chemicals resulting human health hazards.
Empirical phase To asses the impact of eco-friendly agricultural practices in crop production four broad parameters were taken into consideration for this study like knowledge, attitude, adoption and livelihood (both agricultural and socio-economic) of the respondents. These parameter was supposed to be influenced through interacting forces of many factors in their surroundings. It was difficult to deal with all factors in a single study. It was therefore, necessary to limit the factors which included personal characteristics are age, education, family size, while economic characteristics includes, farm size, annual family income, marketing opportunity, benefit obtained from ecological agriculture.
Moreover, cosmopoliteness, source of information, organizational participation, training on eco-friendly agricultural practices,utilization of training knowledge, decision making ability, problem faced by eco-friendly practice constituted the social characteristics of the respondents. It was assumed that there were much benefit and also having some problems in eco-friendly agricultural practices in-crop production.
Implementation phase GOs, NGOs and Private organizations who are known as extensions providers could make motivational extension program among the farmers to understand the benefit of eco-friendly agricultural practices in-crop production help to minimize the problems of eco-friendly agricultural practices, there would be changed the knowledge, attitude, adoption and livelihood of the respondents and resulted the hazardous free sustainable agricultural environment.
Based on the review of literature and these discussions the conceptual model of this study has been formulated shown in figure-1.
use of agro-chemicals
Human health hazard
Impact of Eco-friendly Agricultural Practices in-Crop Production.
Desired changes of the individual in terms of knowledge , attitude, adoption and livelihood.
EXTENSION SERVICE PROVIDERS
Sustainable eco-friendly agricultural
Figure 1. Conceptual framework of the study
Research methodology is the description, explanation and justification of various methods of conducting research. It may be understood as a science of studying how research is done scientifically. In methodology, the researcher studies the various steps that are generally adopted by him / herself in studying the research problem along with the logic behind them (Ray and Mondal, 1999). According to Chava and David (1996), a scientific methodology is a system of explicit rules and procedures upon which research is based and against which claims for knowledge are evaluated. They described three rules of methodology viz. methodology provides rules for communication, methodology provides rules for reasoning and methodology provides rules for inter-subjectivity. Thus, methodology guides the researcher how he collects, analyzes, and interprets the observations and findings. So, the researcher should be very careful about the formulation of methods and techniques in conducting his/her research. All these issues are presented in this chapter.
Methodology of the present study included: research design, units of analysis of the study, population and sampling, instruments and methods of collection of data, development of data gathering instruments, data collection, and measurement of variables.
3.1 Research design
A research design is the detailed plan of investigation. It is the blueprint of the detailed procedure of testing the hypotheses and analyses of obtained data (Ray and Mondal, 1999). Seltiz et al. (1976) defined research design as the arrangement of condition for collection and analysis of data in a manner that aims to combine relevance to the research purpose with economy in procedure. The research design helps researcher in testing the hypotheses by reaching valid and objective conclusions regarding the relationship between independent and dependent variables. According to Ray and Mondal (1999), there arc three types of widely used research design like (i) exploratory or formulative (ii) descriptive and diagnostic and (iii) hypothesis-testing or experimental research design. The descriptive and diagnostic research design was used in the present study. Descriptive research design helps in stating characteristics of a particular situation, ‘ group or individuals and used for fact finding with appropriate interpretation. Diagno