RAJSHAHI: Grassroots farmers have started transplantation of Boro paddy braving the winter chill and fog at present with the hope of getting expected yield everywhere in the region, including its vast Barind tract.
They are also passing their times in the works of land preparation, nursing and caring for the seedbeds of the paddy as the full-swing seedling transplantation will start within the next couple of weeks. Around 35.52 lakh tonnes of Irri-Boro rice are expected to be produced from 8.12 lakh hectares of land in all districts of the division during the current season, officials said, reports BSS.
Shamsul Wadud, Additional Director of DAE, said all the district, upazila and field level officials and others concerned are giving suggestions to the farmers to protect their seedbeds from cold covering their seedbeds with polythene at night.
He said they are adopting all possible measures to ensure food security through attaining the rice production target everywhere in the region to ensure food security.
Wadud said 7.31 lakh small and marginal farmers were given support of high yielding seed and fertilizer free of cost under the government’s agricultural incentive programme in the division.
4.30 lakh farmers were brought under the support of high yielding seeds, while 2.51 lakh farmers under seed and fertilizers for cultivating Boro paddy on one bigha each.
Shafiul Alam Mukta, a farmer of Pirijpur village under Godagari upazila, said he has prepared seedbeds on 25 decimals of land for cultivating paddy on 18 bigha of land this season.
Alam has adopted some preventive measures to protect the seedbeds from any cold related diseases.
Regional office of Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI) has taken diversified steps including farmers training, projection plot and supplying of the newly developed high yielding varieties among the growers to make Irri-Boro farming a total success.
BRRI has developed 14 Boro varieties of paddy which are appropriate for Rajshahi region including its vast Barind tract, said Dr Fazlul Islam, Principal Scientific Officer of BRRI.
The varieties are Brridhan28, 29, 50, 58, 63, 69, 81, 84, 86, 88, 89, 92, Brri hybrid dhan3 and Brri hybrid dhan5.
Of those, Brridhan50 is export-oriented premium quality rice, Brridhan58 is comparatively high yielding and Brridhan84 is iron and zinc-enriched.
Dr Islam said the field level agriculture officials, researchers and scientists are reaching the developed varieties to the farmers’ doorsteps so that they can boost the Boro paddy yield after the best uses of the varieties.
The conventional varieties are being replaced by modern varieties which are good signs for the region in terms of boosting yield, he said.
He said there is no way but to enhance rice production through facing the existing challenges of adverse impact of climate change with gradually declining resources and agriculture manpower.
Last year, farmers had produced around 32.50 lakh tonnes of Boro rice from 8.18 lakh hectares of land in the Rajshahi division. The grassroots farmers are happy after getting better yield and market price of their harvested rice contributing a lot towards ensuring food security in the region.
Additional 6,668 tonnes of rice has been produced in the division compared to the target set by the DAE that had fixed the target of producing 35.51 lakh tonnes of rice from 8.12 lakh hectares of land but, amazingly, the farmers brought around 8.19 lakh hectares of land under paddy farming.