Consumption of zinc-enriched rice meets nourishment: Agriculturists

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RANGPUR, Nov 15, 2019 (BSS) – Agriculturists at a function have said
cultivation of zinc-enriched rice is becoming popular and its consumption is
meeting nourishment of people and increasing their disease resistant
capacities.

“Zinc-enriched BRRI dhan72 rice contains 8.9 percent protein and 22.8
milligram of zinc per kilogram,” said Deputy Director of the Department of
Agricultural 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 BRRI dhan72 rice on an exhibition plot of one hectare of land of a
farmers’ group led by Mubarak Hossain in village Fazilpur of Taraganj upazila
here on Thursday afternoon.

HarvestPlus is a part of the Consultative Group on International
Agricultural Research Program (CGIAR) on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health
(A4NH) based at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in
Washington.

Presided over by local elite Shamsul Islam, Deputy Director (Seed
Marketing) of BADC Agriculturist Dr. Md. Sultanul Alam, Taraganj Upazila
Agriculture Officer Agriculturist Ashok Kumar Roy and HarvestPlus
representative Agriculturist Ruhul Amin Mandal addressed as special guests.

The farmers’ group members harvested BRRI dhan72 rice in presence of
agriculturists, 150 farmers and local people and got 4.8 tonnes yield per
hectare.

Agriculture Officer of RDRS Bangladesh Agriculturist Shah Md. Ashik Un Nur
said 1,357 farmers have cultivated zinc-enriched BRRI dhan72 rice on 173
hectares of land with RDRS Bangladesh assistance in Rangpur division during
this Aman season.

Agriculturist Haque said farmers are reaping more profits from cultivation
and early harvest of short duration (125-130 days) BRRI dhan72 rice and
subsequently farming of winter crops on the same land.

He suggested field level agriculture officers to assist farmers in
preserving their produced BRRI dhan72 rice seed properly and providing the
same to other neighbouring farmers for further expanding its cultivation next
season.

Agriculturist Ruhul discussed different varieties of zinc-enriched rice
and said zinc deficiency in human body causes diarrhoea, pneumonia, weakens
the immune system and disease resistance capacity and also hinders normal
growth of babies and children.

The chief guest said cultivation of zinc-enriched rice becomes boon for
its less farming cost and higher yield.

“Increasing consumption of zinc-enriched rice is meeting micro-nutritional
demand of children, adolescents, pregnant women, lactating mothers and common
people and increasing disease resistant capacities for leading a healthier
life,” he added.

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