Farmers across Rajshahi region are adapting themselves in using pre-paid cards for irrigation and the system is being popularised among them in the vast Baring tract since the last couple of years.
Barind Multipurpose Development Authorities (BMDA) commissioned the cards under a project titled "Smart Card Based Prepaid Pump Usage and Energy Measuring System".
The three-year project is being implemented in 25 upazilas of Rajshahi, Naogaon and Chapainawabganj districts involving around Tk 190.9 million.
BMDA executive director Engineer Abdur Rashid said the modern system intends to supply irrigation water to the crop fields with pre-payment system as per farmers' actual demand.
He said it increases additional employment facilities to the labourers and marginal farmers during and after project implementation.
Besides, Rashid said, it is very helpful to prevent metre tempering and checking pilferage of electricity. "Pre-paid pump usages and energy measuring unit has been established in 3,900 deep tube-wells."
More than 82,000 smart cards were distributed among the beneficiaries till June last.
Pre-paid card use for receiving irrigation water through deep tube-wells in crop fields helps cut 30 per cent of cost of the farmers as well as electricity and misuse of about 40 per cent of underground water.
Due to receiving water for irrigation through pre-paid cards, the production of crops is increasing and farmers were being benefited. "We are working to bring 100 per cent of its deep tube-wells under the prepaid card system," Rashid said.
Over 792,000 hectares of arable land, including 297,000 hectares of Irri-Boro lands, were brought under irrigation facilities through operating 14,642 power-driven deep tube-wells (DTWs) in the country's northwest region.
The irrigated lands have yielded around 3.432 million tonnes, including 2.676 million tonnes of additional crops, especially food grain in the vast Barind tract, reports BSS.
Rashid said the region attained significant progress in the crop production following the expansion of irrigation facilities along with supplying water from the re-excavated canals and ponds.
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