Barind farmers happy with high Aush paddy yield

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RAJSHAHI, Aug 26, 2018 (BSS)-Farmers are happy with satisfactory yield of
newly harvested BRRIDhan-48 in the region, including its vast Barind tract,
in the current season.

Amidst this glowing atmosphere the farmers are now very busy harvesting the
paddy variety in the region as part of their effort to mitigating the adverse
impacts of climate change.

BRRIDhan-48, a short duration and drought tolerant paddy variety innovated
by Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI) for Aush season, has gradually
been gaining popularity among farmers in the Barind tract for the last couple
of years.

“I got 22 mounds of paddy per bigha through cultivating the variety on
seven bighas of land this year,” said Shafiul Alam, 39, a farmer of Matikata
village under Godagari upazila in the district.

He, however, could get hardly 10 mounds of paddy per bigha if he cultivates
Parija, a conventional variety of the region.

Sabiar Rahman, 58, another farmer of Pirijpur village under the same
upazila, expressed his happiness over cultivating the variety saying its
average yield is from 15 to 23 mounds per bigha.

He mentioned that the conventional parija variety is being replaced by the
new variety which is a good sign for the region in terms of boosting yield.

All the government and non-government organizations concerned are promoting
the variety in the Barind tract as effective means of addressing the adverse
impact of climate change.

Under a project titled, ‘Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM)’,
around 1,000 volunteers are working in the Barind region to motivate farmers
to promote water-saving crops like BRRI Dhan-48 paddy farming.

Barind Station of On-Farm Research Division (OFRD) under Bangladesh
Agriculture Research Institute (BARI) has inserted the paddy variety into its
four-crop based cropping pattern in a bid to lessen the gradually mounting
pressure on underground water in the drought-prone area.

DASCOH Foundation and Swiss Red Cross are jointly implementing the project
in 39 UPs and three pourasabhas in Rajshahi, Naogaon and Chapainawabganj
districts with financial support from Swiss Agency for Development and
Cooperation-SDC since 2015.

Dr Shakhawat Hossain, team leader of OFRD (Barind Station), said there has
been an enormous prospect of bringing harvesting intensity coupled with
increasing food production through a successful promotion of the Aush-Aman-
Lentil-Mungbean cropping pattern.

To maintain sound soil health, it could be advisable to grow rice
especially Brridhan48 using a different system in order to improve
compatibility between monsoon rice and upland winter crops.

The newly innovated paddy variety has opened up a new door of enormous
prospects of food security along with mitigating the crises of irrigation
water.

It has been giving satisfactory yield with scanty rainfall and limited
irrigation during the Aush season in the area. This would also go well with a
shift in economic importance of the winter crops over monsoon rice.

“We are arranging training and other motivational programmes for the
farmers to adopt the cropping pattern to boost agricultural production
through the best use of modern technologies to feed the gradually increasing
population,” he added.

Terming the development of the drought-tolerant varieties a demand of the
time, Dr Hossain said that the variety has started contributing a lot to
ensure food security.

Sharing their experiences, two female farmers – Anwara Parveen and Nazma
Akhter – told BSS that the BRRI Dhan-48 variety has brought enormous benefit
for them in cultivating rice in drought prone rain-fed environment.

They urged the authorities concerned to remove the existing seed crisis of
the variety to encourage more farmers towards cultivating the variety.

By virtue of early harvesting characteristics the variety supplements the
farming of transplanted Aman and various Rabi crops like tomato, brinjal,
mustard and vegetables as the region is conventionally famous for farming
these crops abundantly.

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