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CARRYING CAPACITY OF THE SOILS OF GAZIPUR SADAR

UPAZILA, GAZIPUR DISTRICT OF BANGLADESH


Md. Monirul Huq1 Md. Nazmul Hasan;2 Md. Kabel Hossain Dewan3
Abstract
Assessment of carrying capacity of the soils of Gazipur Sadar Upazila of Gazipur District
was made. Total area of the Upazilla is 41,633 hectares of which 31,752 hectares are under
crop cultivation, 3,456 hectares are under orchard and 2,103 hectares are under deciduous
forest, Among the crop cultivated area 19,655 hectares are under single crop, 11,788 hectares
are under double crop, 180 hectares are under triple crop and 139 hectares are under current
fallow and the cropping intensity is 137.78 percent. Major crops of the area are Boro,
transplanted aman, broadcast aman, vegetables and orchard. Total number of population is
about 4,19,719 (BBS, 1991). Food requirement for the whole population in terms of cereal is
7,47,72,995 kg (488 g/ person/day). Total production in terms of cereal is 13,74,56,585 kg.
Average yield/hectare is 3682.69 kg (in terms of clear rice). Carrying capacity has been
estimated to be 1:20.67 in the Upazila.
Introduction
Carrying capacity may be defined as the number of people that can survive on a sustainable
land utilization type in a unit area of land over a given period. Otherwise it can be called as
Land-man ratio resource inventory
All agricultural countries have the ultimate goal of sufficiently increase yield of food and
other crops, and thereby to achieve self-sufficiency in food within the shortest possible
period. Some developing countries like India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Myanmar,
Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines etc. Have become self-sufficient in food, and they are in fact
exporting their surplus food to less developing countries. Bangladesh is now trying very hard
to attain self-sufficiency in food production within a shortest possible period.
Four essential components are required to fulfill the criteria of a self-sufficiency programme
successfully. These are assessment of actual food requirement, formulation of a realistic plan
and programme for sufficient food production, timely and proper implementation of the
programme within the plan period, and monitoring and assessment of the actual food
production during the defined period (Sattar, 2001).
Assessment of carrying capacity or land-man ratio is very much essential for formulation of a
realistic plan and programme for sufficient food production. The objectives of the assessment
of carrying capacity are toa)
assist in prioritizing the locations for development activities,
b)
suggest alternate land use management where needed,
c)
support planners in planning self-sufficiency programme, and
d)
support in assessing input (seed, fertilizer, irrigation, plant protection, etc.)
requirements.
1

Director; 2 Scientific Officer; 3 Principal Scientific Officer, Soil Resource Development Institute, krishi
Khamar Sarak, Dhaka-1215.

Methodology
Land and Soil Resource Utilization Guide of Gazipur Sadar Upazila was taken as a basis for
land resources inventory. This guide was prepared on the basis of field survey, laboratory
analyses and agro-climatic information. Land Use Map (Fig-I) of the Upazilla was made and
areas under different crops were determined based on the information lying with the guide.
Total annual production of crops was determined by multiplying area under different crops
with national yield average taken from Agricultural Statistics (HAS, 2001). Average crop loss
is 11.58% in case of cereals (MOA, 2003) was also considered in calculation of total
production. Conversion of paddy into clear rice was made multiplying by 0.67 (assuming
67% of the paddy is clear rice). Conversions of cash and other crops into clear rice were
made using the following formula;
Total production x Present market price (Taka/kg)
Production in terms of clear rice =
Price of per kg coarse rice (Taka)
Present market price of the different crops ware also taken from Agricultural Statistics (HAS,
2001).
The actual food requirement of the Upazilla is assessed on a sound footing. The present
yardstick of food requirement is the annual average per capita consumption of food for a
person, aged 5 to 60+ years. The average food consumption is assumed to be 15 or 16 oz per
capita per day as estimated by World Bank and the World Health Organization (Sattar, 2001)
and 16 oz by Ministry of Agriculture (HAS, 2001). These are estimated on the basis of
minimum calorie (2000-2002 calories) intake against the consumption of rice and other
foodstuff of which 1600-1700 calories come from cereal alone. But in this paper standard rate
of consumption was considered 0.488 kg of clear rice/day/person as estimated by Institute of
Nutrition and Food Science (IFNS, 1986), Dhaka University. The standard rate of
consumption (0.488 kg/person/day) multiplied by the total number of population produces
requirement of food (cereals) per day or per year. Assessment of carrying capacity was made
using the following formula;
Total Production in terms of clear rice (kg)
Carrying capacity =
Total cultivated area (ha) x 0.488 x 365
or
Average yield in terms of clear rice (kg/ha)
Carrying capacity =
0.488 x 365
Comparing actual food requirement with actual production in terms of clear rice makes the
assessment of self-sufficiency.
Results and discussion
Total area of the Upazilla is 41,633 hectares of which 31,752 hectares are under crop
cultivation, 3,456 hectares are under orchard and 2,103 hectares are under deciduous forest.
Among the crop cultivated area 19,655 hectares are under single crop, 11,788 hectares are
under double crops, 180 hectares are under triple crops and 139 hectares are under current

fallow and the cropping intensity is 137.78 percent. Settlement, water bodies and rivers
occupies 350 hectares, 125 hectares and 696 hectares respectively.
There are 13 cropping patterns adopted by the farmers in this area. Areas under different
cropping patterns are shown in Table-1 (Prersent Land Use). The crops grown in this area are
transplanted aman (16,544 ha), boro (13,538 ha), broadcast aman (5,802 ha), broadcast aus
(209 ha), wheat (133 ha), jute (123 ha), potato (99 ha), rabi vegetables (2,299 ha), kharif
vegetables (2,466 ha), mustard (280 ha), sugarcane (12 ha), papaya (295 ha), banana (395
ha), pineapple (295 ha), mango (1382 ha), jackfruit (1037 ha), litchi (1037 ha), ginger (605
ha), turmeric (604 ha) and forest (2103 ha).
The average yields of the crops grown in this area are almost nearer to national yield average.
The area under different crops and their average yield and total production (both in terms of
specific crop and clear rice) are shown in Table-2. Total number of population is about
4,20,47. Food requirement for the whole population in terms of cereal (clear rice) is
7,47,72,995 kg (considering 0,488 kg/person/day cereal).
Converting cash and other crops (other than cereal crops) in to clear rice, total production of
all the crops is 137456.585 metric tons or 13,74,56,585 kg. Average yield in terms of clear
rice is 3682.69-kg/ha. Carrying capacity or land-man ratio in this Upazila is 1:20.67 (I
Hectare : 20.67 person), it means I hectare of land can provide calorie support to 20.67
person at present yield level and land use. There is a surplus of about 62,684 metric tons clear
rice per year which shows about 1.84 times of the present population can be fed on this
production, in other words it can be said the Gazipur Sadar Upazila is a food surplus zone. In
table-2 total production in terms of clear rice and carrying capacity are shown.
References
BBS, 1991. Bangladesh Population Census, 1991. Bangladesh Beauru of Statistics, Dhaka,
Bangladesh.
HAS, 2001. Hand Book of Agricultural Statistics, Ministry of Agriculture, May 2001, Dhaka,
Bangladesh.
INFS, 1986. National Nutrition Survey of Bangladesh, Institute of Nutrition & Food Science,
Dhaka University.
MOA, 2003. Technical Task Force Committee Report for planning 290 Million Ton Cereal
Production in the year 2006, Ministry of Agriculture, Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Sattar, M,A 2001. Agricultural Planning and Achievement in Bangladesh, Paragon
publishers, Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Table-1 Land Use Data


Mapping Unit

Area (ha)

9,875

6,705

5,462

Main Land
Use
Orchard

Forest

Bo-F-TA

Area (ha)

Secondary Land Use

3,456

Bo-F-TA
Ginger/Turmeric/Banana/Pin
eapple
Rabi vegetable-kh.
Vegetable
F-F-kh. Vegetable
F-F-BA
Settlement
Bo-F-TA
F-F-TA
Rabi vegetable-kh.
Vegetable
F-F-F
F-F-TA
RC-F-TA
Sugarcane/Turmeric/Ginger/
Banana/
Papaya
Rabi vegetable-kh vegetable
F-F-F
F-TU-TA
Bo-F-F
RC-UBA
Mustard-Bo-F
F-F-BA
RC-J-F
RC-BU-F Settlement
Bo-F-TA
Settlement
F-BA
RC-UBA
RC-J-F
Mustard-Bo-F
Bo-F-F

2,103

2,458

4.

6,462

F-F-TA

3,877

2,286

Bo-F-F

1,319

6.

7,308

F-BA

4,385

Miscellaneous

3,535
Settlement
Waterbodies
River

2,443
125
696
20,862

Total

41,633

Rc.Veg-kh-veg

Area
(ha)
2468
1975
494
494
494
494
1676
1676
1159
91
1493
327
48
48
48
283
228
86
86
58
29
29
241
2262
323
685
94
94
94
2,923
271
0
0
0
20,771

Bo-Boro; F-Fallow; Kh-Kharif; BA-Broadcast Aman; TU-Transplanted Aus; TA-transplanted Aman; RC Rabi
crops; UBA-Mixed Broadcast Aus and Aman, J-jute.

Table-2 Total Production in terms of clear rice and carrying capacity


Name of
Crops
Boro (HYV)
B. Aus
T. Aus
B.Aman
T. Aman
Wheat
Jute
Potato
Rabi. Veg.
kh. veg
Mustard
Sugarcane
Papaya
Banana
Pineapple
Mango
Jackfruit
Litchi
Ginger
Turmeric
Forest
Total

Area
(ha)
13538
209
283
5802
16544
133
123
99
2299
2466
280
12
12
395
295
1382
1037
1037
605
604
2103
-

Yield
kg/ha
3360
1980
1250
1260
2520
2130
1830
12060
12000
8000
770
40550
7450
14180
10800
3700
10000
2080
5540
4500
0
-

Total
Prod. (kg)
42103180
209627
509400
6440220
37389440
328510
225090
1193940
27588000
19728000
215600
486600
89400
5601100
3186000
5113400
10370000
2156960
3351700
2718000
0
-

Net Prod.
(kg)
37227631.8
185352.193
450411.48
5694442.52
33059742.8
290468.542
225090
1193940
27588000
19728000
215600
486600
89400
5601100
3186000
5113400
10370000
2156960
3351700
2718000
0
-

T. production
Clear rice (kg)
24942513.28
124185.9696
301775.6916
3815276.491
22150027.71
290468.542
225090
1193940
27588000
19728000
215600
486600
89400
5601100
3186000
5113400
1037000
2156960
3351700
2718000
0
-

price/kg
(Taka)
13.85
13.85
13.85
13.85
13.85
8
9.81
7
12.5
13.5
18.5
4
4
10.5
405
20
12
25
38.5
26.8
0
-

Net production
Clear Rice (kg)
24942513.3
124185.97
301775.692
3815276.49
22150027.7
167779.663
159431.978
603435.379
24898917
19229458.5
287985.56
140534.296
25819.4946
4246321.3
1035162.45
7383971.12
8984837.55
3893429.6
9317000
5259379.06
182209.386
137149451

population

* Average annual return is assumed as to be Taka 1200/ha/year through discussion with Officers of Forest Department.

Total
Need (kg)

Carrying
capacity

Remarks

Surplus

419790

74772995

20.63

1.834
times of
present
population
can be fed
through
this level of
crop
production

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