Experts for enhancing zinc-enriched rice cultivation

Experts for enhancing zinc-enriched rice cultivation

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Enhanced cultivation of zinc-enriched rice ensures food and nutrition security preventing deficiency of zinc, iron and vitamin-A for normal growth of the children and increasing disease resistant capacity, experts said yesterday.They were addressing a farmers’ field day organised by RDRS Bangladesh, a reputed NGO, to demonstrate farming results, technologies and harvesting high zinc enriched variety BRRI dhan64 rice in village Dhorepara under Sadar upazila in Nilphamari.The NGO has been expanding farming technology, seed production, processing and storing of zinc-enriched BRRI dhan 64 and BRRI dhan 62 rice at 200 exhibition plots in Rangpur, Nilphamari, Dinajpur and Gaibandha under The HarvestPlus Challenge Programme.The International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) and International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) have been coordinating the technology dissemination process for ensuring seed production, processing and storing of the high zinc rice.Deputy Director of the Department of Agriculture (DAE) for Nilphamari Golam Mohammad Idris attended the occasion and inaugurated harvest of the high yielding zinc-enriched BRRI dhan64 rice at the field of farmer Abdus Sattar as the chief guest.Nilphamari Sadar Upazila Agriculture Officer Keramat Ali attended the ceremony as the special guest. Sub-Assistant Agriculture Officer Rashidul Islam, Chairman of Kundupukur Union Federation Mominur Islam, Agriculture Officer of RDRS Bangladesh for Nilphamari Dilip Kumar Roy, Research Assistant of Krishi Gobeshona Foundation (KGF) Enamul Haque addressed. Representative of HarvestPlus Bangladesh Ruhul Amin Mandal and Programme Coordinator of RDRS Bangladesh for Nilphamari Rashedul Arefin narrated the prospect of the high zinc-enriched BRRI dhan64 on the occasion. More than 200 male and female framers along with the representatives of HarvestPlus Bangladesh, RDRS Bangladesh, public representatives, civil society members, media workers and elite of the area were present.Programme Coordinator of RDRS Bangladesh for Nilphamari Rashedul Arefin said prospect of zinc-enriched BRRI dhan-64 rice is bright as the short duration crop can be harvested in 140 to 150 days.“Cultivation of BRRI dhan64 enables framers in cultivating four crops on the same land to meet nutritional demand in place of three crops only annually to further enhance crop intensification to ensure food security under adverse climate,” he added.They said most of the people in Bangladesh depend on rice for meeting majority of their vitamin and mineral requirements and general rice does not contain enough micro-nutrients required for leading healthy productive life.
Terming zinc, iron and vitamin-A as the three most vital micro-nutrients, they said deficiency of these micro-nutrients could be met through enhancing cultivation of zinc-enriched BRRI dhan64 rice as rice is the prime food in Bangladesh.The chief guest suggested for expanded cultivation of BRRI dhan64 for supplementing zinc deficiency of the poor, children and pregnant women to reduce maternal, neonatal and child deaths rates side by side increase rice output in attaining food security. -BSS, Rangpur

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