I went to the countryside of Dhamrai,an Upazila under Dhaka district of Bangladesh to see the conditions of crops in the field.The day of the visit was in April,2010.The weather was sunny with clear sky and the temperature was around 34 degree.The major crops at this time were paddy,maize,cucurbits,brinjal and other vegetables.The fruit trees at the early bearing stage were mango and jack fruit.Moringa, a tree with choice vegetable was also in fruiting stage in some households.This area is also famous for a special variety of lemon which is grown by many farmers in compact blocks.
I was accompanied by two colleagues from the Department of Agricultural Extension(DAE) who served in this Upazila.
We were moving on motorbikes.The paddy fields were showing brilliance and fresh look.At some points we stopped to take a closer view.We were particularly interested about Brown Plant Hopper(BPH) and Sheath Blight of rice.They are real panic for rice crop. BPH is considered as a great threat at this moment for it can damage 100 percent of rice crop.At a point of our journey we stopped at a roadside spot noticing a small patch of rice field with suspicious
appearance.We examined the base of the rice plants to see BPH .We could not find BPH from the surveyed plant bases but we found Sheath Blight affected plants.We compared the specimen with the photo and description of the book published by Bangladesh Rice Research Institute(BRRI).Sheath Blight was confirmed in BRRIDHAN-29 variety.When we were doing the exercise ,a little student going back home from school on a bicycle stopped there.He was trying to listen to what we had been discussing.I felt very good and awaited curiously what the boy would do next.But he was very meek and did not come closer. I invited him to come closer and allowed him to see the specimen and then inspired him to read the note on Sheath Blight contained in BRRI publication.He was very happy for being able to participate.He was a special boy,more intelligent and curious than his classmates who were going back home then along the same road.He took an important practical lesson which might be utilized immediately in husbanding their own crop or answering the examination question on biology.He is a student of local high school and is studying in class seven.He aspired to be an agricultural scientist when he will grow up.The world will need more talented agricultural scientists in the future when there will be more mouths to feed and more challenges to face with fewer land and resources.
The name of the little boy is Abdul Khaleque.I became impressed by his curiosity for learning and for his aspiration to be an agricultural scientist.
I dedicate this Future Agricultural Scientist to the world and invite all concerned to support their education with conducing environment to enable them to face the future challenges across the world.