Researchers have found new varieties of rice with higher yields, which they say will bring smiles to the farmers and make the country’s food basket stronger.
They have identified nine varieties of high-yielding rice and are advising the farmers to cultivate those in two key seasons - Boro and Aman.
For the T-Aman, the IR13F441 line and BRRI dhan79 may perform well in a flash flood-prone environment, according to the findings.
BRRI dhan93, BRRI dhan94, and BRRI dhan95 are highly preferable in the northern part of Bangladesh as an alternative to the Indian rice variety Swarna while BRRI dhan87 is the highest-yielding variety all over the country.
Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI) director general Dr Shahjahan Kabir told the Daily Sun that these varieties would definitely increase the yields and profits for the farmers.
“Developing better rice varieties is important for the national food basket. The next step is to make these varieties available to farmers across the country,” he said.
Bangladesh is currently the third-largest producer of rice in the world with the production of 3.87 crore tonnes of rice in FY 2020-21.
During these trials, newly-developed varieties, benchmark varieties, and farmer-grown varieties are planted together in one plot to compare their performance closely, said Dr Swati Nayak, International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) Scientist & South Asia Lead - Seed System and Product Management.
“The research also identifies promising varieties and how they adapt in the various target environments. During these trials, researchers collect feedback about the varieties from farmers and extension personnel,” he said.
“Currently, rice varieties are being developed keeping in mind the regions where they are grown. Our study shows if the newer varieties are up to the mark or whether it needs further development for the betterment of the farmers and the country,” said the scientist.
These trials also generate curiosity, knowledge, and demand for new and better-performing varieties through the demonstrated impacts in the field.
The findings also showed that BRRI dhan28 gave the lowest yield, having the highest pest incidence which should be replaced immediately.
Meanwhile, BRRI dhan29 produced a competitive yield along with BRRI dhan89. However, it was infected by neck blast disease in some locations.