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High-yield cross-breed paddy diminishes indigenous varieties in Rajshahi

High-yield cross-breed paddy diminishes indigenous varieties in Rajshahi

Due to cultivation of high-yield, easy growing, cross-bred varieties of paddy, many environmental friendly, tasty, low-yield, traditional and indigenous varieties of paddy have become extinct or on the verge of extinction in Rajshahi region.
It is learnt due to lack of initiative of preservation of mother or foundation seeds, more than 12 varieties of traditional, indigenous varieties of paddy have already been extinct or on the way of extinction from Rajshahi district only.Due to advent of improved, high yield varieties of paddy, farmers of
Rajshahi region are no longer cultivating indigenous varieties. As a result, it is still unknown about the fate of those traditional, but low-yield varieties of paddy on which people of the region once used to depend heavily.According to the sources of Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE), at least 30 varieties of local, environment friendly paddy are now on the verge of extinction of which more than one dozen of prized varieties used to grow in Rajshahi region alone. Now, those varieties of paddy are no longer seen to grow anywhere in the region.The local varieties of paddy which are no longer cultivated are: Pora Binni, Halui, Kalijira, Malati, Guaimuri, Chapal, Panjra, Mugi, Kaliboro and Jagli.Two more local varieties-Jhinga Shail and Roghu Shail were extremely favourite for their taste and flavour and were used to cultivate widely in Rajshahi region. Those two varieties were also supposed to become extinct from the region over last 25-year.However, those two varieties were found to survive at a farmer’s field in Naogaon district recently.
The farmer aged about 90 now did not like hybrid varieties of rice and used to cultivate Jhinga Shail and Roghu Shail on his own land for his own consumption. Recently, officials of DAE and an NGO discovered those two varieties of paddies and collected samples of seeds from the farmer.Farmers of Barind region of Rajshahi informed, despite a low production, those local varieties of paddy were very tasty, cost efficient in cultivation and non-harmful for human body and environment as well as for soil because no chemical fertilisers and pesticides were needed for the cultivation of those.
But due to advent of more profit oriented hybrid and cross-bred, laboratory grown paddy known and IRRI and BRRI, those indigenous varieties have been ceased to be cultivated.Rahim Uddin, a President’s Award winning farmer, told that some non-government organisations were conducting field level research to find out local varieties of paddy and were trying to collect mother-seed of those, if any, from the farmers who were still clinging
to those paddies. DAE sources in Rajshahi, however, informed, due to lack of initiatives from any quarter to preserve indigenous varieties of paddy, some local varieties have become extinct from the region. -BSS, Rajshahi