The Bangladesh chapter of the World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF) has started its journey to promote organic farming. It will provide technical support, share knowledge and arrange programmes on environmental protection and biodiversity conservation.
WWOOF Bangladesh, headquartered at the International University of Business Agriculture and Technology (IUBAT) in Uttara, will now forward the case for organic farming and permaculture replacing traditional methods towards creating a healthy environment.
Experts at the launch of the WWOOF Bangladesh website (www.wwoofbangladesh.org) were unanimous in advocating organic farming for sustainable agriculture.
WWOOF is a global volunteers’ organisation that has worked to promote organic farming since 1971. The launch of its wing in Bangladesh means it is now present in more than 45 countries.
The objective of this organisation is to propagate wide-ranging academic initiatives deemed necessary to develop the culture of organic cultivation in Bangladesh. They intend to pass on their message to persuade farmers to stop using chemical fertilisers and pesticides in agricultural farming, and to start farming organically.
Prof Dr M Alimullah Miyan, vice-chancellor of IUBAT, and John Vanden Heuvel, coordinator of WWOOF Canada, jointly inaugurated WWOOF Bangladesh on the university campus earlier this month, at a ceremony attended by overseas delegates, chairs, coordinators of different programmes, faculty members and students.
The newly established Bangladesh chapter joins the large global network that falls under the WWOOF umbrella working to promote organic farming in major countries across Asia, Europe, the Americas, Africa, and Oceania.
John Vanden Heuvel engaged himself in shaping the Bangladesh chapter of WWOOF within the operating framework of IUBAT’s College of Agricultural Sciences. In his speech, Heuvel spoke of the worldwide operations of the volunteer organisation.
He hoped WWOOF Bangladesh will be able to generate a new wave in the field of organic farming, facilitating socioeconomic development in Bangladesh.
Highlighting the dangers of indiscriminate use of fertilisers, pesticides and other chemicals, Dr Mohammed Ataur Rahman, director of the Centre for Global Environmental Culture at IUBAT and also a faculty member at the College of Agricultural Sciences, said organic farming should be adopted to ensure sustainable agriculture in Bangladesh.
He pointed out that organic farming helps recycling of bio-geochemical materials to facilitate growth of living plants without affecting the environment.
Prof M Alimullah Miyan underscored the great importance of organic farming, saying that the traditional practices in preserving the fertility of the soil have lost their way within the so-called propaganda of ‘Green Revolution’, and the slogan of increasing food production.
He hoped that by being rooted in the academic world of IUBAT, WWOOF Bangladesh will gain new momentum and dynamism, with the wholehearted academic support of experienced professionals.
Written by Dhak Unb
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