RAJSHAHI, July 28, 2020 (BSS) – Farming process of Direct Seeded Rice (DSR) has reduced production cost by 45 to 50 percent than the conventional system in the Barind area thanks to the blessings of farm mechanization.
“We have found the optimistic result in demonstration plots of some grain crops including Aush paddy during the last couple of seasons in Barind area,” said Dr Arshadul Haque, adding that DSR rice cultivation by BARI seeder requires Taka 4,500 per bigha against the conventional method’s Taka 8,000.
Dr Haque, a Senior Scientific Officer (SSO) of Farm Machinery and Postharvest Process (FMP) Engineering Division in Bangladesh Agriculture Research Institute (BARI), illustrated the salient feature of the method while talking to BSS here Monday.
He said the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) has set a target of producing 75,461 tonnes of DSR from 78,000 hectares of land in all eight districts in Rajshahi division during the current season.
FMP Engineering Division and On Farm Research Division (OFRD) are jointly implementing a project titled ‘Improvement and Validation of BARI Seeder for Grain Crops under different Cropping Patterns and Soil Condition’ to promote the DSR farming process in association with Krishi Gobeshona Foundation.
Disseminating his expertise on the issue Dr Arshadul Haque said there are enormous scopes of growing Aush rice in between Rabi crops and Transplanted Aman paddy as there are some Aus varieties like BINA dhan 19 and BRRI dhan 62 which require less water.
Some farmers of this region cultivated these Aush rice as direct seeded broadcasted rice.
He adds large-scale promotion of the method can be the vital means of mitigating some of the existing problems like shortage of irrigation water and labour in the vast Barind tract.
OFRD Senior Scientific Officer Dr Shakhawat Hossain identically opined that the Barind region’s agriculture is facing many challenges including climate change, labour shortage, irrigation water scarcity and increase in crop cultivation cost.
So, promotion of farm mechanization has become indispensable to address the multiple problems.
Chief Scientific Officer of Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI) Dr Aminul Islam said promotion of field-level farm mechanization can be the vital means of boosting crop outputs to feed the gradually increasing population.
He mentioned that large-scale adoption of farm mechanization can also be the effective means of facing the existing agriculture related challenges in the drought-prone Barind area besides ensuring food security amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
He mentioned that the cropping intensity can be increased to 250 percent even 400 percent from the existing 200 percent through reducing the existing time gap between the two crops after the best uses of the farm mechanization.
All the officials and others concerned including the scientists and farmers should put in their level best efforts and work together as the present government is very much positive towards the field.
Dr Islam also said BRRI has been working intensively to boost the production of BRRI dhan 62 in the region to mitigate zinc and protein deficiency besides fighting diarrhea and pneumonia-induced childhood deaths and stunting.
It’s a short-duration high-yielding variety of rice which could be cultivated in the Barind area to meet the necessary micronutrient requirement for a human body coupled with ensuring food security.
Each kilogram of rice of BRRI dhan-62 contained 19 mg of zinc and 9 percent of protein which will ensure high nutrition and will play a significant role in prevention of diseases. Zinc also played a vital role in prevention of liver-related diseases.
Narrating the salient features of the newly developed variety, Dr Islam said zinc, iron and vitamin-A are the three most vital micronutrients, deficiency of which hampers children’s natural growth and decrease their disease prevention capacity.
It is expected that consumption of the rice enriched with zinc will highly remove malnutrition. Particularly, this rice will help protect child health, he said.