Consortium for Scaling-up Climate-Smart Agriculture in South Asia (C-SUCSeS) Project is making waves in the realm of food security and sustainable agriculture through cutting-edge technologies and practices. One standout technique gaining success in Bangladesh’s drought-prone Barind region, nestled in Rajshahi, is bed planting. This transformative technology has proven to be a game-changer, addressing the unique challenges faced by farmers in climate change and setting a new standard for sustainable and eco-friendly farming practices.

Challenges in Rajshahi’s Agricultural Landscape

Rajshahi falls under the dry humid zone and the High Barind Tract of Rajshahi is recognized as one of the most drought-prone areas in the country. In the Barind region, rainfall is significantly low, with annual rainfall ranging from 1000-1200 mm, whereas the national average is 2,300 mm. The rainfall distribution pattern is unimodal, peaking in July, with 70-80% precipitation occurring from June to September. Managing irrigation in the undulating terrain of this region is challenging due to the varying elevation of the soil, leading to issues related to climate variability and a lack of  irrigation water availability for crop production.

Introduction of Bed Planting Technology:

Traditionally, people in Rajshahi and other areas in Bangladesh prepare land using 2-wheel and 4-wheel tractorswhich involves 3-4 full tillage. This conventional method of crop cultivation results in additional fuel, labor and time. The C-SUCSeS Project promoted a bed planter attached to a 2-wheel tractor for efficient soil tillage, bed formation, fertilizer application, and seed sowing in a single pass. This is a smart method as a simple bed planter attachment is sufficient, eliminating the need for separate tillage, seeding and fertilizing. In this method, the machine features two types of furrow opener at the rear—one for seeds and the other for fertilizer—maintaining specific distances for optimal growth.

The Bed Planting technology significantly reduces the workload and time required for cultivation. The seeding cost of the bed planting system was much lower than the conventional seeding method.  Using the 2-wheel or 4-wheel tractors in conventional cultivation methods, the seeding cost (land preparation, seeding, and basal fertilizer application) of different crops (mustard, wheat, maize) ranges from Tk. 8,000- 24,000 per hectare. Bed Planting offers a more cost-effective solution at 4,500-6,500 Taka per hectare. Even though purchasing a 2-wheel tractor may cost one and a half lakh Taka, adding a bed to it only requires an additional expense of 60,000-70,000 Taka.

Bed Planting technology contributes to the timely sowing and efficient growth of crops, with fewer rounds of soil work, reducing the vulnerability to natural calamities. The bed formation also acts as a barrier, protecting crops from vertebrate pests and weeds. It safeguards crops from damage, making it an ideal choice for smallholder farmers.

In areas susceptible to natural disasters, where conventional farming may result in crop losses due to the tendency of fertilizers to end up far from the seeds, compromising crop growth, Bed Planting technology ensures that fertilizers are positioned beside each seed. This not only fosters uniform growth but also prevents environmental pollution.

In conventional farming, water may pool in certain areas, causing uneven irrigation. In contrast, Bed Planting facilitates uniform water flow, preventing waterlogging and optimizing water usage. When irrigation is applied, 25-30% of the water is saved compared to the conventional system. It offers a 10-15% increase in yield compared to conventional methods of crop cultivation, contributing to both economic prosperity and environmental sustainability.

This innovative approach not only reduces diesel consumption but also minimizes environmental impact. In traditional methods, a field requires 22-23 liters of diesel per hectare for the seeding of cereals, while Bed Planters only need 12 liters, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and contributing to the mitigation of climate change.

Empowering Local Entrepreneurs with Bed Planting Techniques:

BARI scientists have established two local service providers for Bed Planting operations. Through the C-SUCSeS Project, Bed Planters have been provided to them. BARI is working on enhancing the skills, marketing expertise, and behavioral changes of these local service providers. Some of them have gained expertise even from outside the country through the C-SUCSeS project. As a result, these service initiatives have positively impacted the local entrepreneurs.

This year, BARI has given technological support to around 200 smallholder farmers of which 30% are women. The demand for these service providers is increasing in the region. Hundreds of farmers are adopting bed planting techniques during this Rabi season. To manage the workload efficiently, the local service providers even distribute some of the workload to their Assistant Bed Planters.

Thanks to innovative Bed Planting technology, farmers are overcoming these challenges, bringing a wave of positivity to their fields and communities. This not only ensures a more sustainable approach to agriculture but also lights up the faces of those resilient farmers who persevere against the odds.  Its success has sparked a growing interest among the local community, highlighting its potential as a solution to longstanding agricultural challenges.

By implementing Bed Planting, farmers in this region are not only adapting to climate variability but also enhancing crop yield and sustainability. It’s a testament to the power of agricultural research and innovation in transforming lives and communities. Additionally, the technology minimizes pest attacks and supports the cultivation of crops like wheat.

Advantages of Bed Planting in a Nutshell:

  • All plants and lines get a border effect that enhances growth and yield.
  • Increased cereal crop yield by 5% to 10%, Pulse crops by 15% to 30%, and fibre crops (jute) by 10%.
  • Suitable for a range of crops, such as wheat, rice, pulses, jute, sesame, maize, mustard, okra, and groundnut.
  • Reduction in irrigation water usage by 25-30%, tillage costs up to 60%, and greenhouse gas emissions by 30-40%.

Beneficiary Insight on Bed Planting Technology

 One of the beneficiaries of bed planting, Mr. Shimul from Godaghari Sub-district of Rajshahi, said, “This method is very smart. By adding one simple and inexpensive piece of equipment, we can cultivate our land in a single pass, avoiding the need for three to four separate tillage events. Since land preparation, seeding and fertilizing are completed in one tillage pass through the machine, the fertilizer is placed closely and systematically beside the seeds, resulting in good crop yields. Moreover, due to the raised bed system, wind can pass nicely, and water cannot stay for long, preventing damage to crops like wheat.’’

He said, ‘’In our areas, farmers face challenges due to the high cost of cultivation, as three to four tillage are needed in conventional methods, and the cost of fertilizer and insect control materials is high. This situation has led four generations of agricultural practitioners to seek odd jobs in town, creating population pressure in the city. If such technology can be introduced widely, farmers will return to farming, alleviating the shortage of labor and enhancing food security.”

The focus of CSA is on innovative and sustainable farming techniques to ensure consistent or increased production, enhance resilience to climate challenges, and minimize environmental impact. The Bed Planting technology covers all pillars of CSA. The project is optimistic about the future impact of these technologies, anticipating increased adoption and improved resilience to climate change in the High Barind Tract (HBT) region.

This model holds promise for replication across the region, offering a glimpse into a future where innovative technologies revolutionize agriculture, ensuring food security and environmental sustainability.


  1. Md. Shakhawat Hossain, Senior Scientific Officer, On-Farm Research Division, Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute, WhatsApp Number +88-01733845030; email:;
  2. Kinzang Gyltshen, Regional Programme Coordinator, C-SUCSeS, SAARC Agriculture Centre, email:, WhatsApp Number: +880 1316-195687
  3. Kabir Hossain, Knowledge Management Consultant, C-SUCSeS, SAARC Agriculture Centre, email:, WhatsApp Number: +880 1752698847
  4. Apurbo Kumar Chaki, Senior Scientific Officer, OFRD, BARI & Associate National Focal Point, C-SUCSeS Project (Bangladesh component), email:, WhatsApp Number: +880 1705338306
  5. Md. Mazharul Anwar, Chief Scientific Officer, OFRD, BARI & National Focal Point, C-SUCSeS Project (Bangladesh component), email:, WhatsApp Number: +880 1743919284