Zinc-enriched rice consumption meets nourishment: Agriculturists

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RANGPUR, May 17, 2019 (BSS) – Agriculturists at a crop cutting function
have stressed on expanded cultivation and consumption of zinc-enriched rice
to meet nourishment and increase disease resistant capacities of common
people.

“Regular intake of zinc-enriched rice prevents deficiency of zinc, iron
and vitamin-A of common people,” said Deputy Director of the Department of
Agriculture Extension (DAE) Agriculturist Dr Md. Sarwarul Haque in the
function as the chief guest.

The DAE and RDRS Bangladesh with HarvestPlus project organised the event
to harvest zinc-enriched BRRI dhan74 rice on exhibition plot of farmer
Hamidul Islam in village Mathurapur in Pirganj upazila yesterday, a press
release said today.

HarvestPlus is a part of the Consultative Group on International
Agricultural Research Programme on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health based
at International Food Policy Research Institute at Washington.

Presided over by local elite Ekramul Mandal, farmer Islam got 8.10 tonnes
yield rate of BRRI dhan74 rice per hectare in terms of paddy after harvesting
the crop in the function.

Additional Deputy Director (Horticulture) of DAE Agriculturist Reaz Uddin,
Upazila Agriculture Officer Agriculturist Sadekuzzaman Sarker and
representative of HarvestPlus Agriculturist Ruhul Amin Mandal addressed as
special guests.

Agriculture Officer of RDRS Bangladesh Agriculturist Shah Md. Ashik Un Nur
said 3,200 farmers have cultivated zinc-enriched BRRI dhan74 rice with
assistance of RDRS Bangladesh in four northern districts of Rangpur division
this time.

Agriculturist Amin discussed different varieties of zinc-enriched rice
saying that zinc deficiency in human body causes diarrhoea, pneumonia,
weakens immune system and disease resistance capacity and hinders normal
growth of babies.

Agriculturist Reaz said people in Bangladesh mainly depend on rice for
meeting majority of vitamin and mineral requirements when general rice does
not contain enough micronutrients.

“Deficiency of three most vital micronutrients of zinc, iron and vitamin-A
could be met through regular consumption of zinc-enriched BRRI dhan74 rice as
rice is prime food in Bangladesh,” he added.

Agriculturist Haque said, “Zinc-enriched BRRI dhan74 rice is resistant to
blast and other diseases. Its cultivation requires less urea fertiliser
producing more rice to bring better profits to farmers.

He suggested for consuming BRRI dhan74 rice that contains 24.2 milligram
zinc per kilogram to supplement zinc deficiency of children, pregnant women
and common people.

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