Harvesting of zinc-enriched paddy goes on full swing in Barind tract

Harvesting of zinc-enriched paddy goes on full swing in Barind tract

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Harvesting of different transplanted Aman paddy, which are drought tolerant, short duration and advanced varieties including zinc enriched BRRI-62, is progressing fast in vast Barind tract.BRRI-62 variety of paddy was experimentally cultivated on 50 hectares of land in Barind area of Godagari upazila this year for the second time.Farmers of the region are happy after harvesting paddy, said Mozder Hossain, Upazila Agriculture Officer.Nargish Begum, a farmer of Jota Bot Tola village, harvested nine maunds of BRRI-62 paddy from 10 katha (16. 5 decimal) of land by applying very less fertiliser and almost no irrigation.The total production cost for the paddy was Tk. 1,500 only. She was able to harvest the BRRI-62 paddy after 93-day of transplanting of saplings, Nargish added.Another farmer Anjura Khatun of Parkri village cultivated BRRI-62 in one bigha (33 decimal) of land and harvested 19 maunds of paddy. It costs her Tk 3,000 to cultivate the paddy.Another farmer Saidur Rahman of Sarmangla village cultivated the paddy on 10 katha of land and harvested 10 maunds of paddy. Both Nargish and Anjuara were able to harvest their paddy after 98-day of preparing of seed bed.Saidur Rahman informed, seeing a bumper production of the paddy at a low cost, low fertiliser and water, many of her neighbours were purchasing paddy seeds from him. He is selling the paddy at Tk. 800 per maund.More of the farmers of the region are now getting interested in cultivating the high yielding variety BRRI-62.Some government and non-government organizations concerned including ASSEDO are extending seed and other essential inputs to the growers for its successful promotion.Executive Director of ASEDO Rabiul Islam told BSS that substantial and sustainable promotion of BRRI-62 is very important in the drought-prone area comprising 25 upazilas of Rajshahi, Chapainawabganj and Naogaon districts. Barind region has been experiencing less rainfall due to adverse impact of climate change and there was clear indication of drought in the region.Since the transplanted Aman cultivation depends of rainfall, farmers were interested to cultivate such a paddy which is drought tolerant and requires less irrigation.Moreover, the people of Barind region suffer from zinc deficiency that is why zinc enriched BRRI-62 will also remove the deficiency.Referring to the salient features of BRRI-62, Dr Mostofa Kamal, Chief Scientific Officer of Bangladesh Rice Research Institute here said each kilogram of rice of BRRI-62 contained 19 mg of zinc and 9 percent of protein which will ensure high nutrition and will play a significant role in prevention diseases.Zinc also plays 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 decrease their disease prevention capacity.In Bangladesh, over 40 percent children under five are stunted while an estimated 44 percent children of the same age group are at risk of zinc deficiency. Particularly, this rice will help protect child health, he said.BSS, Rajshahi

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