Amove towards more local varieties of Aush is the way forward for more sustainable rice production in Bangladesh.
Right now, more Boro is being produced per hectare than Aush, but the science is solid that says we should be prioritising on Aush production.
Experts agree that Aush is the more sustainable alternative. Unlike Boro, which is reliant on irrigation, Aush may work as a natural remedy to check groundwater depletion in drought-prone areas.
Furthermore, local varieties of Aush can better cope with changing climatic patterns.
In the light of recent groundwater data, these findings cannot be ignored. It is alarming that the underground water level, which was at a level of 64 feet, has dropped to 97 feet in the span of five years according to official data. The estimation made by local farmers shows an even more drastic reduction in groundwater.
If groundwater continues to deplete at this rate, we will be in serious trouble very soon.
Recently, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina made the pledge to end hunger by making rice available at a very low price to poor people. We must take seriously the agricultural science behind rice cultivation, and go for the most efficient, sustainable variety.
Bangladesh is a nation heavily reliant on its agricultural sector, and rice is the staple in every household. We must seriously think about production capacity in the long run, so that future generations do not inherit from us a serious water crisis and a potential food shortage.
Let’s be sensible in our agriculture -- Aush is the best bet in ensuring a secure future for the county’s rice production.