RAJSHAHI: The govern-ment has purchased around 16,247.28 tonnes of Aman rice during the current season’s procurement drive contributing a lot towards ensuring food security amidst the pandemic situation.
As part of the nationwide Aman rice procurement drive from November 15, 2020 to February 28 last, the government has bought the food grain from all eight districts in Rajshahi division, reports BSS.Raihanul Kabir, Regional Controller of Food, said they procured around 15,757.98 tonnes of boiled rice and 489.30 tonnes of non-boiled sunned (Atap) rice.
Kabir said the government had set a target of collecting 1,54,632 tonnes of boiled rice and 11,648 tonnes of non-boiled sunned rice.
Boiled rice has been procured at the rate of Taka 37 per kilogram while non-boiled rice at Taka 36 per kilogram.
Contracts had been signed with 879 millers for collecting 32,543.02 tonnes of boiled rice, while 26 other millers for supplying 1,706.24 tonnes of non-boiled rice.
Meanwhile, the farmers have harvested around 23.04 lakh tonnes of Transplanted Aman rice from 7.78 lakh hectares of land despite facing the adverse impact of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic and devastating flood in Rajshahi division.
The Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) had set the target of producing around 22.19 lakh tonnes of Aman rice from around 7.66 lakh hectares of land in all eight districts in the division during the last season.But, amazingly, the enthusiastic farmers have brought more than 7.77 lakh hectares of land exceeding the target by 11,540 hectares braving the current pandemic and disastrous situations.
Sirajul Islam, additional director of the DAE, said the farmers were happy with a good yield of transplanted Aman in the region.
He said the paddy farming had exceeded the target here significantly due to favorable weather along with frequent rainfall that contributed a lot towards successful completion of Aman seedlings transplantation on time.
Jahangir Alam, 54, of Bhujail village under Nachole upazila, has yielded 5.5 to six tonnes of Brri Dhan-51 per hectare on an average.
Another farmer Nazmul Hossain, 47, of Gohomabona village under Paba upazila, said he has got around six tonnes yield of Brri Dhan-75 variety per hectare of land this season.
To promote the aman farming in the region, Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI) has released seven modern paddy varieties of the Aman paddy for the welfare of common farmers in the region particularly in its vast Barind tract, said Dr Fazlul Islam, principal scientific officer of BRRI.
The varieties are comparatively high yielding, drought tolerant and short duration than local variety ‘Swarna’ which is prone to various diseases and insects always affect the paddy.
Dr Islam said farmers have been encouraged to cultivate the latest varieties through various interventions including block demonstration, plots projection and supplying of seed free of cost.
He also said the modern varieties have opened up doors of enormous prospects in food security along with mitigating the crises of irrigation water.
Parija and Swarna varieties are being replaced by some of the developed varieties that can boost the Aman output, Dr Islam also mentioned.