Above 6.95 lakh tonnes of Aush rice is expected to be produced from 2.50 lakh hectares of land in Rajshahi division during the current season.Amidst this glowing climatic condition, the farmers in general are now passing their busiest time in various works like seedlings from seedbeds,seedling transplantation and land preparation to make those fit for the
transplantation everywhere in the region including its vast Barind tract.
Official sources in the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) said the transplantation activities have created job opportunities for many of the idle people in all eight districts of the division amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Target has been set to produce 5.01 lakh tonnes of rice from 1.80 lakh hectares of land in Rajshahi, Naogaon, Chapainawabgonj and Natore districts under Rajshahi Agricultural Zone while another 1.93 lakh tonnes from 69,998 hectares in Bogura, Joypurhat, Pabna and Sirajgonj districts under Bogura zone.
Sudhendra Nath Roy, Additional Director of DAE, said 54,465 small and marginal farmers got seed and fertilizer as incentives for boosting the production of Aus rice in the current Kharif-1 season in the division.
Each of the beneficiary farmers was given five kilograms of high yielding seed, 20 kilograms of diammonium phosphate and 10 kilograms of muriate of potash fertilizers for aush paddy cultivation on one bigha of land each free
of cost under the government’s agricultural incentive programme.
Agriculturist Sudhendra Roy said the agricultural incentives will help boost aush paddy production as the country’s total production will be enhanced as the government has attached highest priority to the agriculture sector to cope
with the present pandemic situation.
He said the aush farming is very much cost effective as it requires less production cost and faces less natural calamity.
On the other hand, some new paddy varieties released by Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI) have opened up a door of enormous prospects of boosting aush rice through mitigating the crises of irrigation water in the
BRRI Chief Scientific Officer Dr Aminul Islam said some of the released varieties including the BRRIdhan-48 have gained popularity among farmers in the Barind tract during the last couple of years.
BRRIdhan-48, a short duration and drought tolerant paddy variety for the Aush season, has been giving satisfactory yield with scanty rainfall and limited irrigation in the area.
“I got 22 mounds of paddy per bigha through cultivating the variety on seven bighas of land last year,” said Shafiul Alam, 39, a farmer of Matikata village under Godagari upazila in the district.
He, however, could get hardly 10 mounds of paddy per bigha if he cultivates Parija, a conventional variety of the region.
Sabiar Rahman, 58, another farmer of Pirijpur village under the same upazila, expressed his happiness over cultivating the variety saying its average yield is from 15 to 23 mounds per bigha.
He mentioned that the conventional parija variety is being replaced by the new variety which is a good sign for the region in terms of boosting yield.
By virtue of early harvesting characteristics the variety supplements the farming of transplanted Aman and various Rabi crops like tomato, brinjal, bmustard and vegetables as the region is conventionally famous for farming
these crops abundantly.
The farmers are seen being interested for cultivating the newly developed variety in the vast Barind tract as part of their effort to adapt with the adverse impacts of climate change.
Dr Aminul Islam said there has been an enormous prospect of bringing harvesting intensity coupled with increasing food production through a successful promotion of the developed varieties.
To maintain sound soil health, it could be advisable to grow rice using a different system in order to improve compatibility between monsoon rice and upland winter crops.
Simultaneously, the DAE has set the target of producing 75,461 tonnes of direct seeded aman rice from 78,000 hectares of land in the flood-prone and wetland areas and the seed sowing is going on for the crop in the division at present.
The direct seeded farming process reduces 45 to 50 percent production cost than the conventional system, reports BSS from Rajshahi.