Exploring the potential to improve energy saving and energy efficiency using fertilizer deep placement strategy in modern rice production in Bangladesh
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Nitrogen (N) fertilizer plays an important role in modern rice production and is required in large amount because it is the most limited nutrient as well. The fertilizer deep placement (FDP) strategy is developed to improve efficiency of N fertilizer use and rice productivity. The present study estimates the extent of energy saving, productivity and efficiency impacts of FDP strategy in modern rice cultivation at the farm level in Bangladesh using a stochastic production frontier approach. A total sample of 200 rice farmers (100 FDP users and 100 conventional urea users) from a village of Jessore District is utilized. Results reveal that FDP strategy significantly improves energy balance, energy ratio, energy productivity and technical energy efficiency. Relative gains are higher for Boro (dry winter) season than the Aman (monsoon) season. The key policy implication is that a widespread diffusion of FDP strategy should be pursued with priority as it holds the potential to significantly reduce energy use from a scarce, finite and renewable resource (i.e., urea fertilizer) while supporting growth in rice-based agriculture of Bangladesh. Government should also support entrepreneurs to invest in briquetting urea into urea super granules (USG) in order to effectively improve uptake of FDP strategy nationwide.
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