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Cultivation of flood-tolerant rice becomes popular in Bangladesh

By Mamun Islam

RANGPUR, Aug 16, 2014 (BSS) - Cultivation of flood tolerant rice
varieties has become popular in flood-prone areas throughout the
country to enhance rice production despite climate change impacts in
recent years to ensure food security.

After series of bumper productions over the past four years, the
farmers are showing more interests in expanding cultivation of
flood-tolerant rice varieties ushering in a new era in the agriculture
sector to attain sustainable national food security.

According to the concerned experts, the farmers have been continuing
transplantation seedlings of the flood-tolerant variety BRRI dhan51,
BRRI dhan52, BINA 11, and BINA 12 rice now and after getting 4.5 to 5
tonnes paddy yield per hectare last season.

The Stress Tolerant Rice for Poor Farmers in Africa & South Asia
(STRASA) Project has been expanding cultivation of flood tolerant and
other stress tolerant rice varieties by implementing seed
multiplication programme with funding of Bill & Melinda Gates
Foundation (BMGF) through International Rice Research Institute (IRRI)
in Bangladesh.

Under the programme, different government, non-government and
private organisations have distributed 1.087 lakh tonne seeds of flood
tolerant BRRI dhan51, BRRI dhan52, BINA dhan11 and BINA dhan12 rice
varieties among farmers to cover 43.48 lakh hectares land under
STRASA-IRRI Project in Bangladesh during this Aman season.

Horticulture Specialist of the Department of Agriculture Extension
(DAE) Khondker Md Mesbahul Islam said cultivation of flood-tolerant
rice varieties has become popular following successful seed
multiplication though GO-NGO collaboration.

Agriculture and Environment Coordinator of RDRS Bangladesh Mamunur
Rashid said the flood-tolerant rice seed multiplication programme has
become effective through comprehensive GO-NGO-Private sector
collaboration to increase rice production.

Talking to BSS, Project Scientist (Country Manager) of STRASA-IRRI
project in Bangladesh Dr MA Bari said the seed multiplication project
is being implemented in collaboration with different government,
non-government and private organisations.
The DAE, Bangladesh Agriculture Development Corporation, Bangladesh
Rice Research Institute (BRRI), Bangladesh Institute of Nuclear
Agriculture (BINA), ACI Limited, Lal Teer Seeds and different seed
producers' associations have distributed seeds of flood- tolerant rice
varieties among the farmers during this Aman season.

Besides, tens of hundreds more farmers have been cultivating flood-
tolerant rice varieties using their own seeds produced during the last
season under the programme in the stress prone areas in the country,
he added.

Rangpur Regional Additional Director of the DAE Kamal Kumar Sarker
said cultivation of flood-tolerant rice has become popular among the
farmers to increase rice production for attaining food security under
adverse climate.

Talking to BSS, farmers Abdur Rahman and Jaladhar Barman of
Kurigram, Chand Mian and Mohafell Hossain of Rangpur said they got
excellent yield of these flood-tolerant rice varieties despite
submergence under floodwaters for 16 days at a stretch last year.

Farmers Shyamol of Gaibandha, Abidur Rahman of Nilphamari, Beauty
Begum and Mokarram Hossain of Kurigram said their BRRI dhan 51 and 52
rice plants sustained submergence for 14-17 days to yield 4.6 tonnes
to 5.2 tonnes paddy per hectare last season.

Farmer Ariful Haque Batul of Rangpur said the partially damaged
flood tolerant variety BRRI dhan-51, BRRI dhan52 and BINA dhan12 rice
plants again grew well after submergence for 15-16 days to give 5
tonne paddy per hectare yield rates last year.