Harvest of flood tolerant paddies ends ushering new hope to increase rice production
RANGPUR, Nov 30 (BSS) – Excellent harvest of the flood tolerant variety paddies after its large-scale farming and harvests in the country this season has ushered a new hope to increase rice production and food security under adverse climatic conditions.
Rice scientists and experts told BSS that the farmers got average yields rates of all four flood tolerant varieties of Swarna Sub 1 (BRRI dhan 51), BR 11 Sub 1 (BRRI dhan 52), IR 64 sub 1 and Sambamasuri in between 4.25 to 5.60 tonnes paddy per hectare.
After repeated successes in recent years, the government went to large-scale and commercial farming of these paddies and some 27,000 farmers cultivated the same in over 2,000 hectares land in 51 upazilas of 23 districts this season.
The farmers successfully cultivated these paddies with the assistances of the STRASA-IRRI (Stress Tolerant Rice for Poor Farmers in Africa & South Asia and International Rice Research Institute) Project.
Field Assistant of STRASA-IRRI Project Ahadat Hossain told that Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) have been providing financial assistances for expanded farming of these paddies to ensure global food security.
Bangladesh Country Manager of IRRI-STRASA Project Dr MA Bari said the flood- tolerant variety paddy plants sustain submergence of 10 to 17 days under floodwaters to give normal yields when traditional T-Aman plants cannot sustain longer submergence.
Farmers Ariful Islam Batul, Sirajul Islam, Ekramul Haque, Joynal Abedin and Rezaul Karim of village Najirdigar in Rangpur said they cultivated the flood tolerant variety paddies for the first time in their low-lying lands this season.
“We could not cultivate any paddy earlier in these lands in the pasts as those go under floodwaters of the river Ghaghot every year and we got excellent yields of all four flood tolerant entries in these lands this time,” they said.
Farmers Jiten Chandra, Manik Mian, Nuruzzaman, Shyamol Chandra, Rafikul, and Mohafell of Kurigram, Rangpur, Gaibandha and Nilphamari also cultivated these paddies after getting excellent yields last year even after longer submergence.
They opined for further expansion of farming these paddies in future to have additional rice productions from the country’s vast flood-prone areas and suggested for quicker dissemination of the technologies among the farmers.
Talking to BSS today, Dr MA Bari said that there are some 12 lakh hectare potential flood-prone low-lying lands in the country from where an additional 60-lakh tonnes paddy can be produced annually by large-scale farming of these paddies.
He termed the success as epoch-making to increase rice production by overcoming adverse impacts of climate changes and for future, suggested for better management’s to produce, preserve and distribute adequate seeds among the farmers.