Saturday, 2 July, 2022

Farmers urged to cultivate BRRI dhan-84 in Rajshahi

RAJSHAHI: Agricultural researchers and extension officials have urged the farmers to bring more other lands under BRRI dhan-84, a zinc-enriched and drought-tolerant paddy variety, in the Rajshahi region, including its vast Barind Tract, during the Boro season.

They told the grassroots farmers that the newly innovated paddy variety has opened up a door of enormous prospects of mitigating zinc and protein deficiency besides fighting diarrhea and pneumonia-induced childhood deaths and stunting.

Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI) released the variety for all over the country last year after a latest breakthrough in research in the field. It’s a short-duration, high-yielding variety of rice which can be cultivated in season.

They made these observations while addressing a farmers’ field day on production and improved technology expansion of the zinc-enriched BRRI dhan-84 at Daingpara village under Paba upazila in the district on Tuesday.

World Vision Bangladesh and the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) jointly hosted the field day with the main thrust of disseminating ideas among the grassroots farmers on how to boost the production of the paddy variety, reports BSS.

DAE Deputy Director Mozder Hossain, Upazila Agriculture Officer Shafiqul Islam and World Vision Senior Manager Sebastian Purification addressed the meeting. The meeting was told that the BRRI dhan 84 is a zinc-fortified breed and has been developed to meet the necessary requirement of micronutrient for a human body coupled with ensuring food security.

Each kilogram of rice of BRRI dhan-84 contained 19 mg of zinc and 9 percent of protein which will ensure high nutrition and will play a significant role in prevention of diseases; Zinc also played a vital role in prevention of liver-related diseases.

Zinc, iron and vitamin-A are the three most vital micronutrients, deficiency of which hampers children’s natural growth and decreases their disease prevention capacity.

In Bangladesh, over 40 percent of children under five are stunted while an estimated 44 percent of children of the same age group are at risk of zinc deficiency.

Agriculturist Mozder Hossain said the variety is the world’s first-ever rice class developed in a bio-fortified system through breeding between local rice varieties Zira Katari and BRRI dhan 39.

It’s a short duration rice variety which can be harvested 100 days after plantation and this variety may give yield up to 4.5 to 6 tonnes per hectare if nurtured properly, he added.

It is expected that consumption of the rice enriched with zinc will highly remove malnutrition. Particularly, this rice will help protect child health, he said.

By virtue of early harvesting characteristics the variety is very much helpful to cultivate various rabi crops like tomato, brinjal, mustard and vegetables for additional income before going to boro farming.

Agriculturalist Hossain mentioned that the variety has been developed by genetically crossing with local variety but it’s not genetically modified rice.