RANGPUR: Cultivation and production of Aush continued increasing during the last eight consecutive years in Rangpur region.
Officials of the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) said the special steps include distribution of special intensives in terms of quality seeds and fertilisers, conducting motivational campaigns and providing technical support to farmers, reports BSS.“Cultivation of less irrigation water consuming and short duration Aus rice is expanding persistently in the region,” said Additional Director of the DAE’s Rangpur region Bidhu Bhusan Ray.
Earlier, the DAE had fixed a target of bringing 62,199 heaters of land under Aush rice cultivation to produce over 1.75 lakh tonnes of clean rice (2.63 lakh tonnes of paddy) in all five districts of the region this season.
“Farmers, however, have finally cultivated Aush rice on 62,090 hectares of land, less by only 109 hectares against the fixed farming target this season in all eight districts of Rangpur agriculture region,” he said.
Meanwhile, farmers have already harvested Aush rice on 7,875 hectares of land in the region and produced 28,823 tonnes of clean rice with an excellent average yield rate of 3.66 tonnes of rice per hectare.
“Harvesting of Aush is getting momentum day by day across the region to end the process by mid-August next as farmers will cultivate Aman on the same land,” Ray said.
Getting bumper production and better price, farmers are expanding Aush farming as an additional crop during the off-season after Boro harvest and before transplantation of Aman rice seedlings to enhance rice production consistently every year.Earlier, farmers produced 51,722 tonnes of Aush from 17,523 hectares of land in 2013 while 59,685 tonnes from 19,205 hectares in 2014 and 61,676 tonnes from 21,063 hectares in 2015 in the region, he said.
They produced 65,505 tonnes of Aush from 21,751 hectares of land in 2016 while 73,543 tonnes of Aush from 24,717 hectares in 2017 and 1.23 lakh tonnes of Aush from 40, 618 hectares of land in 2018.
Farmers produced 1.48 lakh tonnes of clean Aush from 47,552 hectares of land despite huge damage to the crop on 7,754 hectares of land caused by floods in 2019.
“Besides, farmers yielded a record 1.83 lakh tonnes of clean Aush from 59,092 hectares of land even after damage to the crop on 4,598 hectares of land caused by floods in 2020 in the region,” Ray added.
Like others, farmers Ariful Haque Batul and Manik Mian of Rangpur Sadar upazila said they are currently harvesting Aush on their croplands and will transplant Aman seedlings on the same land from later this month.
Senior Coordinator (Agriculture and Environment) of RDRS Bangladesh Agriculturist Mamunur Rashid said cultivation of Aush has become popular during the off-season between May and mid-August without hampering Aman farming on the same land.
Innovation and popularisation of the ‘Short duration Aman rice-potato/mustard-Aus rice’ cropping pattern and providing high yielding BRRI dhan48 varieties of Aush rice are encouraging farmers in enchaining Aush cultivation.
“After harvesting Aush by mid-August, farmers can easily cultivate Aman on the same land braving the Covid-19 pandemic to enhance rice production for attaining sustainable national food security amid changing climate,” Rashid added.