Enhanced cultivation of high yielding zinc-enriched variety rice can ensure food and nutrition security preventing deficiency of zinc, iron and vitamin-A of the population to increase disease resistant capacity.
Agriculture experts viewed this at a farmers’ field day organised by RDRS Bangladesh, an NGO, to demonstrate cultivation technologies and harvesting of zinc-enriched BRRI dhan62 rice in village Sarderpara under Taraganj upazila here today.
The NGO extended assistance to 8,725 farmers to expand cultivation of BRRI dhan62 rice in 8,725 bigha lands in all eight districts under Rangpur division during this Aman season under The HarvestPlus Challenge Programme.
Additional Regional Director of the Department of Agriculture (DAE) Shah Alam inaugurated harvest of the short duration zinc-enriched BRRI dhan62 rice at the field of farmer Abiron Begum as the chief guest.
Deputy Director of the DAE SM Ashraf Ali, Taraganj Upazila Agriculture Officer Rezaul Karim, Agricultural Research and Development Officer of HarvestPlus Bangladesh Ruhul Amin Mandal attended as the special guests.
Programme Manager (Field Coordination) of RDRS Bangladesh Merina Ahmed delivered the keynote presentation and said that the NGO has been expanding cultivation of zinc-enriched rice with assistance of HarvestPlus Bangladesh since 2013.
“An estimated 57 per cent of the total population, and of them, 40 women and children of the under-5 age group, are malnourished, remaining at risk of zinc deficiency and suffering from malnutrition in Bangladesh,” she said.
Terming zinc, iron and vitamin-A as the three most vital micro-nutrients, SM Ashraf Ali said deficiency of these micro-nutrients could be met through enhancing cultivation and consumption of zinc-enriched BRRI dhan62 rice as rice in Bangladesh.
“Cultivation of short duration BRRI dhan62 in 90 to 100 days also enables farmers in cultivating four crops on the same land in place of three crops annually to further enhance crop intensification to ensure food security amid changing climate,” he added. The chief guest called upon the framers for expanded cultivation of BRRI dhan62 to supplement zinc deficiency of the poor, children and pregnant women and reduce risks of diseases, maternal, neonatal and child deaths side by side attaining food security, reports BSS from Rangpur.