Agriculturists at a function have said cultivation of zinc-enriched rice is becoming popular and its consumption is meeting nourishment of people and increasing their disease resistant capacities.
“Zinc-enriched BRRI dhan72 rice contains 8.9 percent protein and 22.8 milligram of zinc per kilogram,” said Deputy Director of the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) Agriculturist Dr. Md. Sarwarul Haque in the function as the chief guest.The DAE and RDRS Bangladesh with HarvestPlus project organised the event to harvest BRRI dhan72 rice on an exhibition plot of one hectare of land of a farmers’ group led by Mubarak Hossain in village Fazilpur of Taraganj upazila on Thursday afternoon.
HarvestPlus is a part of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research Program (CGIAR) on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health (A4NH) based at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in Washington.
Presided over by local elite Shamsul Islam, Deputy Director (Seed Marketing) of BADC Agriculturist Dr. Md. Sultanul Alam, Taraganj Upazila Agriculture Officer Agriculturist Ashok Kumar Roy and HarvestPlus representative Agriculturist Ruhul Amin Mandal addressed as special guests.
The farmers’ group members harvested BRRI dhan72 rice in presence of agriculturists, 150 farmers and local people and got 4.8 tonnes yield per hectare.
Agriculture Officer of RDRS Bangladesh Agriculturist Shah Md. Ashik Un Nur said 1,357 farmers have cultivated zinc-enriched BRRI dhan72 rice on 173 hectares of land with RDRS Bangladesh assistance in Rangpur division during this Aman season.
Agriculturist Haque said farmers are reaping more profits from cultivation and early harvest of short duration (125-130 days) BRRI dhan72 rice and subsequently farming of winter crops on the same land.He suggested field level agriculture officers to assist farmers in preserving their produced BRRI dhan72 rice seed properly and providing the same to other neighbouring farmers for further expanding its cultivation next season.
Agriculturist Ruhul discussed different varieties of zinc-enriched rice and said zinc deficiency in human body causes diarrhoea, pneumonia, weakens the immune system and disease resistance capacity and also hinders normal growth of babies and children.
The chief guest said cultivation of zinc-enriched rice becomes boon for its less farming cost and higher yield.
“Increasing consumption of zinc-enriched rice is meeting micro-nutritional demand of children, adolescents, pregnant women, lactating mothers and common people and increasing disease resistant capacities for leading a healthier life,” he added.