BINA Dhan-11, a rice variety cultivated during Aman season, won the hearts of farmers due to its high yield in less time with flood-tolerant capacity.
This rice has brought changes in the agro-economy as farmers are getting higher than regular prices for Aman paddy.
Bangladesh Institute of Nuclear Agriculture (BINA) director-general Dr Mirza Mofazzal Islam told Daily Sun that BINA Dhan-11, developed by the BINA has relatively a short lifespan of 107–110 days, allowing an early harvesting than the regular Aman varieties.
“The BINA variety is also flood-tolerant and it can survive around 25 days underwater. The biggest feature of this rice is that if it can stay underwater for more than 25 days, it dries out and after drying, the tip or leaves grows again from the root of the rice. That means you don't have to plant new paddy,” he said.
This variety can produce 5 to 5.5 tonnes per hectare in flood-affected land and 6 to 6.5 tonnes per hectare in flood-free normal land even after enduring submergence for 20-25 days, he added.
Farmers prefer lowland rice varieties with higher-yielding potential but flash floods submerge their crops.
Due to its short farming duration, farmers can accommodate a second crop of pulses, oilseeds, vegetables, potato, mustard, maize, wheat, and other Rabi crops across the country.
Due to its flood-tolerant capacity, this variety was introduced jointly in India, Bangladesh and Nepal under the ‘seeds without borders’ initiative.
This rice variety is also popular in Odisha, Asam and other flood porn areas of India, said Mirza Mofazzal.
Farmers can earn more with the variety as lower cultivation cost as it needs lower water and a rain feed variety.
It yields medium slender grain and has the potential to replace other existing low-yielding varieties of the same duration.
Farmers in the 23 districts on the Jamuna basin are mainly cultivating this variety due to lower costs and higher yield.
Flood and excessive rainfall damages around 20 lakh hectares of cropland each year.