By Dr Aynal Haque
RAJSHAHI, July 1, 2020 (BSS) – Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) has set a target of producing around 22.19 lakh tonnes of transplanted Aman rice from 7.67 lakh hectares of land in all eight districts under Rajshahi division in the coming season.
The DAE has fixed the target of harvesting around 21 lakh tonnes of high yielding varieties of rice from around 7.09 lakh hectares of land, 71,401 tonnes of local varieties from 46,095 hectares and 48,203 tonnes of hybrid varieties from 11,712 hectares of land.
Meanwhile, the enthusiastic farmers are now very busy in land preparation for transplanting T-Aman seedlings amid suitable climate conditions with frequent rainfall despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
Many of the grassroots farmers have started transplanting the paddy seedling everywhere in the region including its vast Barind tract at present. Suitable climate conditions coupled with frequent rainfall helps farmers transplant aman paddy easily.
Sudhendra Nath Roy, Additional Director of DAE, said congenial weather is helping the farmers’ transplant Aman seedlings this season and the fixed target of both farming and production is expected to be achieved.
Timely transplantation of Aman paddy seedlings is very important for healthy growth leading to optimum yield in the area, he added.
“I have taken preparation of bringing six bighas of land under Aman paddy farming. Existing rainfall has become helpful for the farming,” said Tariqul Islam, a farmer of Gollapara village under Tanore Upazila in Rajshahi district.
Zaidur Rahman, another farmer of Karnahar village under Paba Upazila, said the farmers hope for a better yield of Aman paddy as the cultivation of Aman paddy requires less cost compared to other crops. He added that they are not facing any problem in plantation of T-Aman seedlings as they experience sufficient seasonal rainfall.
Dr Aminul Islam, Chief Scientific Officer of Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI), said BRRI has developed seven modern paddy varieties for Aman season for welfare of the common farmers in the region particularly in its vast Barind tract.
The varieties like Brridhan71, Brridhan75, Brridhan80, Brridhan87 and Brridhan90 are comparatively high yielding, drought tolerant and short duration than local variety ‘Swarna’ which is prone to various diseases and insects always affect paddy.
Dr Islam said farmers have been encouraged to cultivate the latest varieties through various interventions including block demonstration, plots projection and supplying of seed free of cost.
He also said the modern varieties have opened up doors in enormous prospects of food security along with mitigating the crises of irrigation water.
Dr Islam also mentioned that Parija and Swarna varieties are being replaced by some of the developed varieties, boosting Aman output.
The DAE has also set a target to produce 6.95 lakh tonnes of Aush rice from 2.50 lakh hectares of land while 75,461 tonnes of direct seeded Aman rice from 78,000 hectares of land in Rajshahi division during the current season.
Agriculturist Sudhen Roy said the farmers have produced around 20.14 lakh tonnes Aman and 5.56 lakh tonnes of Aush rice last season and very recently 34.23 lakh tonnes of Boro rice in Rajshahi division contributes a lot towards ensuring food security amid the COVID-19 pandemic situation.
Procurement drive of the newly harvested Boro rice is also going on in full swing everywhere in the division.
Contracts have been signed with 5,369 millers for collecting 2,37,228.4 tonnes of boiled rice while 158 other millers signed contracts for supplying 20,833.49 tonnes of non-boiled rice.
“We have already procured 70,841.62 tonnes of boiled rice, 2,796.45 tonnes of non-boiled rice and 10,628.92 tonnes of paddy in all districts in the division till Tuesday last,” said Raihanul Kabir, Regional Controller of the Department of Food here.
He said the government has set a target of procuring 2,62,731 tonnes of Boro rice and 1,42,495 tonnes of paddy in the division during the current season.