Cultivation of zinc-enriched rice gaining popularity in Pabna

Nilphamari farmers prepare Boro seedbeds on 3,663 hectares of land

Our Correspondent | Published: December 18, 2017 12:10:14 | Updated: December 18, 2017 16:20:00

FE file photo

Cultivation of zinc-enriched rice is gaining popularity in the district. Zinc is essential for human body, and a substantial portion of its demand can be met by consuming this rice variety.

Khalilur Rahman, a farmer of Thanthania village under Maligasa union in Pabna Sadar, has cultivated BRRI Dhan-62 variety on his land. Like Khalilur Rahman, a good number of farmers in this village and adjoining villages have also cultivated the rice.

"I became interested in its cultivation after realising its potential and necessity for human body. I will continue its farming in my lands in the next year," said Khalilur Rahman.

Aynal Hossain, another farmer of Ranigram village of the same upazila said, "We were motivated by agriculture officials for farming zinc-enriched rice variety in our lands. Though we got less production from its cultivation, we also got an opportunity for farming early winter crops in the same lands."

Omar Ali, assistant agriculture officer of the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) said, "Zinc-enriched rice has less output in comparison to other varieties, but it has high demand. If the growers can cultivate it applying modern techniques it will give better output."

The Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) official sources said, "Farmers here started farming the BRRI Dhan-62 variety in 2013. This year it has been cultivated on 400 bighas of land, but in the first year it was cultivated in 100 bighas only."

Agriculturist Rowshan Jaman, Atghoria upazila agriculture officer said, "The zinc-enriched rice BRRI Dhan-62 is a short duration variety and needs 100 to 102 days from transplantation to harvesting, whereas normal Aman varieties need 140 to 145 days for the same output. After harvesting the rice, farmers can easily prepare lands for cultivating early winter crops, and they can earn windfall profit. The DAE officials here have been motivating farmers for its farming."

Dr Tahazzel Hossain, the district civil surgeon said, "This rice variety can fulfil zinc deficiency in human body."

If the farmers get input support and marketing facility, they will become more interested in cultivating the rice, and it will play a vital role for the overall development, the farmer sources said.

Meanwhile, our Nilphamari correspondent adds: Farmers are preparing seedbeds to rear Boro seedlings thereby sprinkling the seeds on the beds. DAE sources said farmers would rear Boro seedlings in around 3,663 hectares of land in this season in the district.

In the meantime harvesting of Aman paddy is on the way to be completed. The farmers would cultivate Boro in the same land.

Banking on the existing market prices of paddy which is record high of Tk 900 per maund (40kg), the farmers are very much encouraged and extending its cultivating area.

DAE sources said this year's target of Boro cultivation in the district is in 79,443 hectares of land and production target is 329671 tonnes out of which hybrid to be cultivated in 26710 hectares of land and Upshi in 52733 hectares of land.

Sources said there is no shortage of Boro seeds, chemical fertiliser and diesel in the markets. The farmers are purchasing different varieties of seeds from different sources including BADC local seeds shop and so on.

Teesta Irrigation project sources said they are preparing to provide irrigation in 1232 outlets of the project area that include main canal, branch canal, secondary canal, tertiary canal and drains.

DAE sources said 26345 shallow tubewells, 163 deep tubewells, 12 low lift pump, 124 tractors and 1758 power tillers would also be used in Boro cultivation in the district.

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