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Tips on Applying for a Scholarship

Posted by hasanuzzaman on January 17, 2013 at 11:40 PM Comments comments (0)

Tips on Applying for a Scholarship

In today’s world employers receive about 200-500 applications for each scholarship opening. They just received a bunch of dates and numbers and little personal information of candidates. Therefore is it very difficult to judge a potential candidate without having interview and personal discussion. But calling for interview is expansive and it’s not possible to call every candidate for the Interview. Therefore it is very important that your scholarship application should stand out exceptionally in the crowd and get selected for the next stage. Scholarship-Positions.com is trying to provide helpful tips about how to apply for scholarships.

Watch out for scholarship scams: Each year many students and parents are defrauded by scholarship scams. Never pay for a scholarship search. There is never a good reason to pay for a scholarship search. The information you will need is available for free.

Get full scholarship information: Each scholarship has its own application procedure. It is important to read the materials carefully and to understand what information is requested. Make sure you get as much information about the scholarship as possible. Write, call or e-mail the provider of the scholarship to ensure you have full details of application procedures and what will be expected of the successful applicant. If the scholarship entails a particular project, find out the full objectives and intended methodology of the project. If the scholarship is being funded by a private enterprise, gather as much information as you can about the company, its philosophy and its goals. You can never have too much information. Carefully typed applications make the best impression.

Eligibility: Apply only for those scholarships for which you are eligible. It is highly doubtful that you will be awarded if you are not eligible for a scholarship. Check thoroughly to ensure that you are actually eligible for the scholarship before you embark on the application process. It is pointless to submit an application, no matter how perfect it may be, for a scholarship for which you are ineligible. Check for any gender, age, nationality, indigenous or other special group restrictions on applications and only apply if you definitely match the eligibility criteria. If in doubt, check first.

Things to consider for your before applying for scholarship:

People who will judge your application don’t know you. They will just get a bunch of dates and numbers and little personal information. Even grades might be difficult to judge for them if they don’t know how they compare to those of other students in your local education system. Therefore, try to make as much of the more “personal” information as possible including your academic transcripts (but quality, not quantity!).

Take your time to write about “research experience” and “scientific interests”. Provide adequate reasoning as to why you want to do a study particular course and state your motivation in your own words. Marketing yourself is the key for a successful application.

But don’t overdo it! It is interesting to see applications from potential Nobel-prize candidates wishing to start a Masters/PhD thesis, but not even big leaders will buy this. After all, people don’t expect you to know everything before you have even started your PhD. What most group leaders are looking for are smart and open young people who show some enthusiasm for science and research or any other area you are applying for scholarships.

If you are applying from a country whose diverse educational system might not be very familiar to group leaders (e.g. China, India, Africa etc.), we encourage you to support you candidature with scores of internationally valid exams (GRE for aptitude and TOEFL/IELTS for English). However, this is NOT mandatory every where.

Prepare a resume/CV: Some scholarship applications will ask for your resume or CV. If you worked previously, list your experiences, but don’t sweat it if you don’t have much (or any!) work experience-many students don’t. Use your resume/CV to point out any awards and honors you’ve received, community service you’ve been involved with, and activities you’ve participated in.

Activities and Honors: List all relevant activities and honors, but be selective. If you have more activities than can fit in the space provided do not include the ones that are not significant; the two days you spent last spring on a community clean-up day, for instance.

Read the criteria for selection carefully to understand what the reviewers are looking for. For instance, the Presidential Scholarship looks for applicants who can show “leadership experience with [an] outstanding extracurricular record,” so include your volunteer and community service activities, emphasizing those in which you took a leadership role.

Most importantly, your activities should represent your varied talents and passions outside the class room. The reviewers are trying to get a sense of who you are and what you believe in. Make sure your activities reflect that.

Carefully choose your referees. Make sure the referee knows you well enough (e.g. from undergraduate work in his lab, multiple lectures, seminars, etc.) to give an opinion about you and write something on your behalf. This may be better than trying to get a letter from a “big fish” who might have seen your face but doesn’t know much about you and thus doesn’t need to have an interest in providing you with a good reference.

The ideal letter of recommendation: Your letters of recommendations should come from teachers or academic advisors who are familiar not only with your academic abilities, but with your personal interests and background and how those relate to your ability to carry out the program of study you wish to pursue. If the teacher or academic advisor is familiar with your extracurricular activities and leadership abilities, s/he should also incorporate that into the letter.

The letters should address the qualifications sought. Recommenders should address only those elements of your application on which they can comment confidently.

How to ask for a letter of recommendation: Start early. Discuss your plans with your recommenders now, before the application is even available. Let them know what you would like to study and why you want to apply for the scholarship. These discussions can help you clarify your goals and plans as well.

As soon as you have the application forms (applications for Incoming Freshmen Scholarships are available at your high school counselor’s office, the Office of Recruitment Services and the Scholarship Office around early October), schedule a meeting with your recommender. Give your recommender a written description of the scholarship and a copy of your personal statement and proposed academic program. You may also want to provide a copy of your transcript and an autobiography or resume highlighting activities and honors. You should also give your recommenders appropriately addressed envelopes with postage, if necessary. Be sure to also give them plenty of time to write the letter, do not wait until the last minute.

You may also want to remind the recommender that it should include your full name with middle initial. You would be surprised on how many include only the first name of the student within the body of the letter.

The Personal Statement: The Statement of Purpose (often called “letter of intent” or “application essay” by various educational institutions) is one of the most important components of your application process. This document provides the admissions committee with information that allows them to become more acquainted with who you are; what you want to study at graduate school and why; experiences you have in the field; and what you plan on doing with the degree once you have mastered it. A statement of Purpose also serves as a writing sample and interview.

The following section is an excerpt from the Yale University Undergraduate career Services’ publication entitled Applying for Fellowships.

“The personal statement presents an opportunity for you to speak about yourself. Your essay should show that you have ideas and opinions, are able to think logically, and can express yourself clearly, with economy and elegance.

Clear writing is the result of clear thinking. The first and most important task is to decide what you want to say. This is a short essay. You must be highly selective. Consider carefully what you wish to impress upon the reader. Remember the nature of your audience. It is composed of people who are probably as intelligent as you are, well educated, and vastly experienced in this work. Do not try to fool or second guess your reader; you will seem silly if you do. Do not write in a cute, coy, or gimmicky style: selection committees have heard it all already. Do show that you have thought deeply and broadly about what you have learned in your academic career and what you hope to learn next.

When you have written a first draft, start the work of refining, simplifying, and polishing. Do you say exactly what you mean? Is any section, sentence, or word superfluous, ambiguous, or awkward?

Are your verbs strong and active? Have you removed unneeded qualifiers? Are you sure that each accomplishment and interest you mention supports one of your main ideas? Do not apologize. Do not misrepresent yourself. You are writing as an adult who wishes to join the community of scholars and other professionals. You must write as a peer and potential member of such a community.

Correctness and style are vital. Neatness counts. Check and check again your spelling, the agreement of verbs and persons, syntax. Your thoroughness demonstrates that you have learned and mastered this art and that your future teachers and colleagues will not be troubled with sloppy thinking or writing.

Ask several individuals whose judgment you respect to read and criticize a draft of your essay. Possible reviewers include faculty members, writing tutors, and friends who can assess how well your essay represents you.”

Transcripts: If the application requires a transcript from all the schools you have attended, request this information as soon as possible. Whether you e-mail, fax, or call in your requests, mail a letter as a backup. Some schools charge a nominal fee for official transcripts. After a few weeks have passed, call the schools to ensure that the transcripts have been sent to the proper address. If by chance you have to hand-deliver a transcript, do not tamper with the seal – this may render the transcript invalid.

Proofread Your Application Carefully: Use your computer’s spelling and grammar check features. Let someone else (parent, teacher, or friend) read and evaluate your application, another set of eyes always helps.

[This article was submitted by Ankita Singh, an International Student, to help students in applying for admissions and scholarships in USA. Ankita have B.Tech. degree from Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, India and recently completed MS in Environmental Engineering from University of Pittsburgh, USA.]



Agroecological zones (AEZs) in Bangladesh

Posted by hasanuzzaman on January 17, 2013 at 3:50 AM Comments comments (0)

Agroecological Zone land areas recognised on the basis of hydrology, physiography, soil types, tidal activity, cropping patterns, and seasons. In fact an agroecological zone indicates an area characterised by homogeneous agricultural and ecological characteristics. This homogeneity is more prominent in the sub region and unit levels. The agroecological zones of Bangladesh have been identified on the basis of four elements such as physiography, soils, land levels in relation to flooding and agroclimatology. Bangladesh has been tentatively divided into 30 agroecological zones. These 30 zones have been subdivided into 88 agroecological sub-regions, which have been further subdivided into 535 agroecological units.


Physiography forms the primary element in defining and delineating the agroecological regions in Bangladesh. Soils form the second element in defining and differentiating agroecological zones as soil conditions determine important properties for plant growth, moisture supply, root aeration and nutrient supply. The third factor is land level in relation to flooding. In this regard the country has been classified into four types of land level such as highland (land which is above normal flood-level), medium highland (land which normally is flooded up to about 90 cm deep during the flood season), medium lowland (land which normally is flooded up to between 90 cm and 180 cm deep during the flood season), lowland (land which normally is flooded up to between 180 cm and 300 cm deep during the flood season), very lowland (land which normally is flooded deeper than 300 cm during the flood season). An additional class, bottomland, is recognised for depression sites in any land level class which remains wet throughout the year. The depth limits between the depth of flooding classes are not rigid. Flood levels in an area may vary by as much as a metre or more between different years. They may also reach their peak levels for only a few days at a time during a particular year. These classes actually indicate the level of flooding which farmers expect when they decide which crops to grow in the kharif season on their different kinds of land, based on their long experience of cultivation on particular sites.


Highland may be suitable for kharif or perennial dryland crops if the soils are permeable. Impermeable soils or soils which can be made impermeable by puddling may be suitable for transplanted aus and/or aman paddy if bunds are made to retain rainwater on fields. Medium highland is suitable for crops which can tolerate shallow flooding, such as broadcast or transplanted aus paddy, jute and transplanted aman paddy. Early kharif dryland crops which mature before flooding starts can be grown on permeable soils, and late kharif and early rabi dryland crops on soils which drain in September-October. Medium lowland is flooded too deeply for transplanted aus or transplanted aman paddy to be grown reliably. Mixed broadcast aus and deepwater aman is a common practice; or long aman seedlings may be transplanted as the floodwater recedes. Dryland rabi crops are widely grown on soils which drain in October or November. Lowland is flooded too deeply for broadcast aus or transplanted aman to be grown. Deepwater aman is typically grown on such land, although the cultivation of irrigated boro paddy on such land in the dry season now precludes the cultivation of deepwater aman over considerable areas of lowland. Dryland rabi crops can only be grown if flood water recedes before December. Very low land generally is too deeply flooded for even deepwater aman to be grown. Bottomland stays too wet for paddy to be sown broadcast. The traditional crop on such land is local boro paddy, either not irrigated or irrigated by traditional low-lift irrigation devices. In a few other areas where flooding normally does not exceed 1.5m, very long aman paddy seedlings are transplanted early in the monsoon season. The fourth element considered in identifying agroecological zones in Bangladesh comprises the four climatic zones of the country. The combined agroclimatic zones could be superimposed on the zones and sub-regions to create unique agroecological units.


The Agroecological Zones (AEZ) database is unique and is being extensively used for national and local level production planning purposes. The agroecological resources are increasingly playing an important role in agricultural planning, technology transfer and specific bio-physical resource utilisation programme activities. The database on AEZ, however, needs updating as over time there have been some changes in the land types because of roads and other structural measures, variability in precipitation and temperature as well as innovation of modern crop cultivation which could survive under different environmental stress conditions. A brief description of 30 AEZ regions is given below:


Old Himalayan Piedmont Plain (4,008 sq km) this distinctive region is developed in an old Tista alluvial fan extending from the foot of the himalayas. It has a complex relief pattern. Deep, rapidly permeable sandy loams and sandy clay loams are predominant in this region. They are strongly acidic in topsoil and moderately acidic in subsoils; low in weatherable K minerals. Seven general soil types occur in the region, of which non-calcareous brown floodplain soils, black terai soils, and non-calcareous dark grey floodplain soils predominate. Organic matter contents are generally higher than in most floodplain soils of Bangladesh. The natural fertility of the soil is moderate but well sustained. Soil fertility problems include rapid leaching of N, K, S, Ca, Mg and B. Most of panchagarh and thakurgaon districts and the northwestern part of dinajpur district are included in this zone.


Active Tista Floodplain (830 sq km) this region includes the active floodplains of the tista, dharla and dudhkumar rivers. It has complex patterns of low, generally smooth ridges, inter-ridge depressions, river channels and cut-off channels. The area has irregular patterns of grey stratified sands and silts. They are moderately acidic throughout and parent alluvium is medium in weatherable K minerals. Four general soil types occur in the region, and of them, non-calcareous alluvium predominates. Organic matter contents and soil fertility level are low to medium.


Table Agroecological Zones of Bangladesh



ID Zones/Regions Sub Regions

1 Old Himalayan Piedmont Plain a) North-central; b) Northern; c) Southern

2 Active Tista Floodplain Active Tista Floodplain

3 Tista Meander Floodplain a) Central; b) Eastern; c) Lower Atrai Floodplain; d) Lower Little Jamuna Floodplain; e) North-eastern and Southern North-western; f) Upper Little Jamuna and Middle Atrai Floodplain

4 Karatoya-Bangali Floodplain a) Northern and Central; b) South-western

5 Lower Atrai Basin Lower Atrai Basin

6 Lower Punarbhaba Floodplain Lower Punarbhaba Floodplain

7 Active Brahmaputra-Jamuna Floodplain Active Brahmaputra-Jamuna Floodplain

8 Young Brahmaputra and Jamuna Floodplain a) High Jamuna Floodplain; b) Upper Brahmaputra Floodplain; c) Upper Brahmaputra-Jamuna Floodplain

9 Old Brahmaputra Floodplain a) Bansi Valley; b) High; c) Low; d) Medium High; e) Medium Low

10 Active Ganges Floodplain Active Ganges Floodplain

11 High Ganges River Floodplain a) Central and Southern; b) Ganges-Mahananda Floodplain; c) Northern

12 Lower Ganges River Floodplain a) Central; b) Eastern

13 Ganges Tidal Floodplain a) Khulna Sundarbans; b) Nonsaline, calcareous; c) Nonsaline, calcareous and non-calcareous; d) Nonsaline, noncalcareous e) Saline, Acid Sulphate Soils; f) Saline, calcareous and noncalcareous; g) Saline, noncalcareous

14 Gopalganj-Khulna Beels Beel centres

15 Arial Beel Arial Beel

16 Middle Meghna River Floodplain Middle Meghna River Floodplain

17 Lower Meghna River Floodplain a) Calcareous, flood protected; b) Calcareous, unembanked; c) Noncalcareous, flood protected; d) Noncalcareous, unembanked

18 Young Meghna Estuarine Floodplain a) Nonsaline: Central Bhola; b) Nonsaline: Meghna Estuary Charland; c) Nonsaline: North Bhola; d) Saline: Central Bhola; e) Saline: Noakhali, Hatiya and Meghna Estuary; f) Saline: Sandwip and South Bhola

19 Old Meghna Estuarine Floodplain a) Dhaka-Narayanganj-Demra Project Area; b) High: Old Meghna Estuarine Floodplain; c) Low: Daudkandi-Habiganj; d) Low: Dhaka-Shariatpur-Barisal; e) Low: Eastern Kishoreganj; f) Low: Gopalganj Beels margins g) Low: Habiganj-North Brahmanbaria; h) Low: Titas Floodplain; i) Medium Low; j) Very poorly drained: Laksham-Begumganj

20 Eastern Surma-Kushiyara Floodplain Eastern Surma-Kushiyara Floodplain

21 Sylhet Basin a) Central and Southern; b) Northern; c) Western

22 Northern and Eastern Piedmont Plain a) Northern and Eastern Basins; b) Northern and Eastern Plains and Basins; c) North-western Plains and Basins; d) South Sylhet Piedmont Plains

23 Chittagong Coastal Plain a) Beach Ridges, Mangrove Swamp and Mud Clay; b) Mangrove Tidal Floodplain; c) Piedmont Plains and River Floodplains; d) Young Tidal Floodplain

24 St. Martin's Coral Island St. Martin's Coral Island

25 Level Barind Tract a) Highland and Medium Highland; b) Medium Lowland and Lowland

26 High Barind Tract High Barind Tract

27 North-eastern Barind Tract a) Mainly poorly drained; b) Mainly well drained; c) Mixed well drained and poorly drained

28 Madhupur Tract a) Mainly poorly drained level terrace; b) Mainly well drained dissected terrace

29 Northern and Eastern Hills a) Low hills and Piedmont Plains; b) Mainly high hill ranges; c) Mainly low hills

30 Akhaura Terrace Akhaura Terrace


Tista Meander Floodplain (9,468 sq km) this region occupies the major part of the Tista floodplain as well as the floodplain of the atrai, little jamuna, karatoya, Dharla and Dudhkumar rivers. Most areas have broad floodplain ridges and almost level basins. There is an overall pattern of olive brown, rapidly permeable, loamy soils on the floodplain ridges, and grey or dark grey, slowly permeable, heavy silt loam or silty clay loam soils on the lower land and parent materials medium in weatherable K minerals. Eight general soil types occur in the region, moderately acidic throughout, low in organic matter content on the higher land, but moderate in the lower parts. Fertility level is low to medium. Soils, in general, have good moisture holding capacity.


Karatoya-Bangali Floodplain (2,577 sq km) this region is very similar to the Tista Meander Floodplain in physiography and soil, and comprises a mixture of Tista and brahmaputra sediments. Most areas have smooth, broad, floodplain ridges and almost level basins. The soils are grey silt loams and silty clay loams on ridges and grey or dark grey clays in basins. Five general soil types occur in the region, of which non-calcareous grey floodplain and non-calcareous dark grey floodplain soils predominate. The soil is moderately acidic throughout. Organic matter contents are generally low in the cultivated layer of ridge soils and moderate in basins. General fertility is medium. The eastern half of bogra and most of sirajganj districts are included in this zone.


Lower Atrai Basin (851 sq km) this region comprises the low lying area between the barind tract and the Ganges river floodplain. It includes the chalan beel area. Dark grey, heavy, acidic clays are predominate in this smooth low-lying basin land. Seven general soil types occur in the region. Organic matter, and status of other essential nutrients are medium, while level of available K (potassium) is high. Fertility status of soils is moderate.


Lower Punarbhaba Floodplain (129 sq km) this small region occupies basins and beels separated by low floodplain ridges. In this area, dark grey, mottled red, very strongly acid, heavy clays occupy both ridge and basin sites. Organic matter status is medium to high. General fertility level is medium with high K-bearing minerals. The western part of naogaon and the northern part of nawabganj districts are included in this AEZ.


Active Brahmaputra-Jamuna Floodplain (3,190 sq km) this region comprises the belt of unstable alluvial land along the Brahmaputra-Jamuna rivers where land is constantly being formed and eroded by shifting river channels. It has an irregular relief of broad and narrow ridges and depressions. The area is occupied by sandy and silty alluvium, rich in weatherable K minerals that are slightly alkaline in reaction. Six general soil types occupy the area. Organic matter status is low and fertility status is low to medium.


Young Brahmaputra and Jamuna Floodplain (5,924 sq km) the region comprises the area of Brahmaputra sediments. It has a complex relief of broad and narrow ridges, inter-ridge depressions, partially in filled cut-off channels and basin. This area is occupied by permeable silt loam to silty clay loam soils on the ridges and impermeable clays in the basins, neutral to slightly acid in reaction. General soil types include predominantly grey floodplain soils. Organic matter content is low in ridges and moderate in basins. Soils are deficient in N, P, and S but the status of K and Zn are reasonable.


Old Brahmaputra Floodplain (7,230 sq km) this region occupies a large area of Brahmaputra sediments before the river shifted to its present jamuna channel about 200 years ago. The region has broad ridges and basins. Relief is irregular, especially near the old and present river channels. Soils of the area are predominantly silt loams to silty clay loams on the ridges and clay in the basins. Organic matter content is low on the ridges and moderate in the basins, topsoils moderately acidic but subsoils neutral in reaction. General fertility level is low.


Active Ganges Floodplain (3,334 sq km) this region occupies unstable alluvial land within and adjoining ganges river. It has irregular relief of broad and narrow ridges and depressions interrupted by cut-off channels and active channels. The area has complex mixtures of calcareous sandy, silty and clayey alluvium. The general soil types, predominantly include, calcareous, alluvium and calcareous brown floodplain soils. Soils are low in organic matter and mildly alkaline in reaction. General fertility level is medium but deficient in N.


High Ganges River Floodplain (13,205 sq km) this region includes the western part of the Ganges river floodplain which is predominantly highland and medium highland. Most areas have a complex relief of broad and narrow ridges and inter-ridge depressions. The upper parts of high ridges stand above normal flood level. Lower parts of ridges and basin margins are seasonally shallowly flooded. General soil types predominantly include calcareous dark grey floodplain soils and calcareous brown floodplain soils. Organic matter content in the brown ridge soils is low but higher in the dark grey soils. Soils are slightly alkaline in reaction. General fertility level is low.


Lower Ganges River Floodplain (7,968 sq km) the region comprises the eastern half of the Ganges river floodplain which is low-lying. The area has a typical meander floodplain landscape of broad ridges and basins. Soils of this region are silt loams and silty clay loams on the ridges and silty clay loam to heavy clays on lower sites. General soil types predominantly include calcareous dark grey and calcareous brown floodplain soils. Organic matter content is low in ridges and moderate in the basins. General fertility level is medium.


Ganges Tidal Floodplain (17,066 sq km) this region occupies an extensive area of tidal floodplain land in the southwest of the country. The greater part of this region has smooth relief having large areas of salinity. Riverbanks generally stand about a metre or less above the level of adjoining basins. Non-calcareous grey floodplain soil is the major component of general soil types. acid sulphate soil also occupies a significant part of the area, where it is extremely acidic during the dry season. Most of the topsoils are acidic and subsoils are neutral to mildly alkaline. Soils of the sundarbans area are alkaline. General fertility level is high, with medium to high organic matter content.


Gopalganj-Khulna Beels (2,247 sq km) the region occupies extensive low-lying areas between the Ganges river floodplain and the Ganges tidal floodplain. Soils of the area are grey, and dark grey, acidic, heavy clays overlay peat or muck at 25-100 cm. General soil types include mainly peat and non-calcareous dark grey floodplain soils. Organic matter content is medium to high. Fertility level is medium.


Arial Beel (144 km) this region occupies a low-lying basin between the Ganges and dhaleshwari rivers in the south of the former greater dhaka district. It has much in common with the lower Atrai Basin and the Gopalganj-Khulna Beels. The soils of this area are dark grey, acidic heavy clays. Non-calcareous dark grey floodplain soil is the chief general soil type. Organic matter content generally exceeds two percent in the top subsoil. Available moisture holding capacity is inherently low. General fertility level is medium to high.


Middle Meghna River Floodplain (1,555 sq km) this region occupies an abandoned channel of the Brahmaputra river on the border between the greater Dhaka and comilla districts. The region includes areas of old Brahmaputra chars within the meghna river as well as adjoining parts of the mainland. Soils of the area are grey loam on the ridges and grey to dark grey clays in the basins. The dominant general soil type is non-calcareous grey floodplain soil. Topsoils are strongly acidic and subsoils slightly acidic to slightly alkaline. General fertility level is medium with low N and organic matter.


Lower Meghna River Floodplain (909 sq km) this area occupies the transitional area between the middle Meghna river floodplain and the young Meghna estuarine floodplain. Soils of this area are relatively uniform, silt loams occupy relatively higher areas and silty clay loams occupy the depressions. Non-calcareous dark grey floodplain and calcareous grey floodplain soils are major components of general soil types. Topsoils are moderately acidic and subsoils neutral in reaction. General fertility level is medium to high with low to medium organic matter status and K-bearing minerals.


Young Meghna Estuarine Floodplain (9,269 sq km) this region occupies young alluvial land in and adjoining the Meghna estuary. The major soils are grey to olive, deep calcareous silt loam and silty clay loams, and are stratified either throughout or at shallow depth. Calcareous alluvium and non-calcareous grey floodplain soils are the dominant general soil types. Topsoils and subsoils of the area are mildly alkaline. General fertility is medium but low in N and organic matter.


Old Meghna Estuarine Floodplain (7,740 sq km) this region occupies a large area, mainly low-lying land between the south of the Surma-Kushiyara floodplain and the northern edge of the young Meghna estuarine floodplain. Silt loam soils predominate on highlands and silty clay to clay on lowlands. Organic matter content of the soils are moderate. Topsoils are moderately acidic, but subsoils neutral in reaction. General fertility level is medium.


Eastern Surma-Kushiyara Floodplain (4,622 sq km) this region occupies the relatively higher parts of the Surma-Kushiyara floodplain formed on sediments of the rivers draining into the Meghna catchment area from the hills. This area is occupied by grey, heavy silty clay loams on the ridges and clays in the basins. Organic matter content of the soil is moderate. Soil reaction ranges from strongly acidic to neutral.


Sylhet Basin (4,573 sq km) the region occupies the lower, western side of the Surma-Kushiyara floodplain. Relief is locally irregular near rivers. Soils of the area are grey silty clay loams and clay loam on the higher parts that dry out seasonally and grey clays in the wet basins. The soils have a moderate content of organic matter and soil reaction is mainly acidic. Fertility level is medium to high.




Northern and Western Piedmont Plains (4,038 sq km) this is a discontinuous region occurring as a narrow strip of land at the foot of the northern and eastern hills. The region comprises merging alluvial fans which slope gently outward from the foot of the northern and eastern hills into smooth, low-lying basins. Grey piedmont soils and non-calcareous grey floodplain soils are the major general soil types of the area. Soils of the area are loams to clays, slightly acidic to strongly acidic in reaction. General fertility level is low to medium.


Chittagong Coastal Plain (3,720 sq km) this region occupies the plain land in greater chittagong district and the eastern part of feni district. It is a compound unit of piedmont, river, tidal and estuarine floodplain landscapes. The major problem in these soils is high salinity during the dry season (October to May). Grey silt loams and silty clay loam soils are predominant. Acid sulphate soils occur in mangrove tidal floodplains. General fertility level of the soils is medium, but N and K are limiting. Organic matter content is low to moderate.


St Martin's Island (8 sq km) this small but distinctive region occupies the whole of st martin's island in the extreme south of the country. The area has very gently undulating old beach ridges and inter-ridge depressions, surrounded by sandy beaches. The soils are developed entirely on old and young coral beach sands. Calcareous alluvium is the only general soil type of the area. General fertility level is low with poor moisture holding capacity.


Level Barind Tract (8 sq km) this region is developed over madhupur clay. The landscape is almost level. The predominant soils have a grey, silty, puddled topsoil with ploughpan. Shallow grey terrace soil and deep grey terrace soils are the major components of general soil types of the area. The soils are low in available moisture holding capacity and slightly acidic to acidic in reaction. Organic matter status is very low and most of the available nutrients are limiting.


High Barind Tract (16 sq km) it includes the southwestern part of the Barind Tract where the underlying Madhupur Clay had been uplifted and cut into by deep valleys. The soils include puddled silt loam to silty clay loam in the topsoils and porous silt with mottled plastic clay at varying depth. Deep grey terrace soils and grey valley soils are major components of the general soil types of the area. General fertility status is low, having low status of organic matter.


North Eastern Barind Tract (1,079 sq km) this region occupies several discontinuous areas on the north-eastern margins of the Barind Tract. It has silty or loamy topsoil and clay loams to clay subsoil. The soils are strongly acidic in reaction. Organic matter in the soils is low. General fertility is poor.


Madhupur Tract (4,244 sq km) this is a region of complex relief and soils developed over the Madhupur Clay. The landscape comprises level upland, closely or broadly dissected terraces associated with either shallow or broad, deep valleys. Eleven general soil types exist in the area of which deep red brown terrace, shallow red brown terrace soils and acid basin clays are the major ones. Soils in the valleys are dark grey heavy clays. They are strongly acidic in reaction with low status of organic matter, low moisture holding capacity and low fertility level.


Northern and Eastern Hills (18,171 sq km) this region includes the country's hill areas. Relief is complex. Hills have been dissected to different degrees over different rocks. In general, slopes are very steep and few low hills have flat summits. brown hill soils is the predominant general soil type of the area. Organic matter content and general fertility level are low.


Akhaura Terrace (113 sq km) this small region occupies the eastern border of brahmanbaria and the southwest corner of habiganj district. The main soils in the uplands have strong brown clay. The valley soils range from silty clay to clays. Deep red brown terrace soils, grey piedmont soils and acid basin clays are the major components of the general soil types of the area. The general fertility including organic matter status is low. The soils are strongly acidic in reaction.

[M Shahidul Islam and Mamunul Haque Khan]


Bibliography FAO/UNDP, Land Resources Appraisal of Bangladesh for Agricultural Development Report 2: Agroecological Regions of Bangladesh, FAO/UNDP, 1988; Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics, 1998 Yearbook of Agricultural Statistics, BBS, Dhaka, 1999.


[Source: Banglapedia - National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh]

Green fuel from rice

Posted by hasanuzzaman on January 17, 2013 at 3:50 AM Comments comments (0)

Green fuel from rice

Written by Paula Bianca Ferrer

Farmers typically grow two or three crops a year. Since they don’t have enough turnaround time before beginning the next planting season, they resort to the quickest and easiest solution to get rid of the rice “waste,” that is, the residue—by burning. This releases methane, a greenhouse gas that remains in the atmosphere for 9–15 years and contributes to global warming. On top of this, exposure to smoke and soot causes respiratory problems among farmers and townspeople alike.


Waste not, want not

“Rice straw and husks offer an immense potential to create bioenergy, an alternative renewable source of power,” said Dr. Stephan Stephan Haefele, senior researcher at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI). He and his scientific team have been exploring ways to turn rice residues into useful and valuable by-products to support more efficient, productive, profitable, and sustainable rice farms.


“Rice residues can produce bioenergy and at the same time reduce the negative effects of rice production systems on the environment; they could also be a source of extra income for farmers,” said Dr. Haefele.


Moreover, rice residues and production systems have several decisive advantages over many other bioenergy crops, he explained. Unlike crops grown exclusively for biofuels, using rice residues to generate energy would not divert land use away from food production. It has also been shown that, even if all rice residues are removed, the quality of rice soils is unaffected. Residue removal for energy production directly reduces the emissions of greenhouse gases caused by field burning or by residue incorporation into the soil. Also, the high cropping intensity in irrigated rice systems ensures a constant residue supply and keeps transportation time to processing centers short.




Backyard fuel

In 2011, Dr. Haefele and his collaborators analyzed the energy and carbon life-cycle of existing gasifiers that turn rice residues, without burning them, into gases that can be used as an energy source. Such gasifiers are increasingly common in Cambodia, where rice millers want to make use of the husks that pile up in their backyards.


Each ton of husk gasified can save about 1 ton of greenhouse gas emissions (CO2) compared to current uses. The energy needed to build and operate a gasifier was produced by the gasifier within 245 days of operation. And, it took only 109 days of gasifier operation to save as much carbon as was emitted to build and establish it. Looking at the rice production system, a 1-hectare irrigated rice field can produce 12 tons of husk and straw per year, which can be converted to clean energy in a medium-sized gasifier equivalent to about 1,800 liters of diesel.

More power to farmers

“These results show the potential of residues as an energy source, and as an option to make rice cultivation even more sustainable,” said Dr. Haefele.


“We now intend to investigate rice straw. Quite a lot of research has been done on rice husks but little is known about the use of rice straw. We will try to answer how best to collect straw, how to store it, and whether pretreatments, such as leaching, drying, and/or briquetting, are necessary.


“For the most promising systems, we plan to conduct a life-cycle analysis and to develop complete business models,” he added. “We are also testing what effects biochar—a by-product from straw and husk burning—has on soil quality in various rice production systems, and determine its optimal uses and look at how to participate in emerging carbon markets.”