Farmers have achieved bumper production of stress tolerant rice during this season in stress-prone regions of Bangladesh, increasing food production ushering in a new era in the agriculture sector.
The success has been achieved under the expanding stress tolerant paddy seed multiplication programme for the fourth consecutive time this year increasing rice production to ensure food security under adverse climate.
Cultivation of the flood-drought- and saline-tolerant variety rice has already become popular in the country under the programme after repeated bumper production in recent years overcoming crop losses due to floods, droughts or soil salinity.
Sustainable Rice Seed Production and Delivery System in Southern Bangladesh and Cereal Systems Initiative in South Asia (SRSPDS-CSISA-BD) projects are implementing the programme under Stress Tolerant Rice for Poor Farmers in Africa and South Asia (STRASA) project.
The USAID and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) have been extending assistance through the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in distributing seeds for expanded cultivation of the rice through seed multiplication, officials and experts said.
Country Manager of BMGF-STRASA-SRSPDS Projects of IRRI in Bangladesh Dr MA Bari said 2,300.8 tonnes of stress tolerant rice seeds were distributed during this Aman season among 766,900 farmers in stress prone areas to cover 92,032 hectares land.
Of them, 876.8 tonnes seeds of saline tolerant variety BRRI dhan47 and BINA dhan8 rice were distributed among farmers in the country’s saline prone southern districts to produce 79,636 tonnes seeds from 35,072 hectares land.
In addition, 1,359.3 tonnes seeds of flood tolerant variety rice like BRRI dhan51, BRRI dhan52, BINA 11, and BINA 12, drought tolerant varieties like BRRI dhan56 and BRRI dhan57 were distributed among the farmers this season.
Moreover, 64.7 tonnes seeds of moderately flood-drought- and saline-tolerant variety rice seeds were also distributed among farmers in the stress prone areas throughout the country to make the programme successful.
Dr Bari said over 2.5 lakh farmers cultivated stress tolerant variety rice in more 1.92 lakh hectares land using their own seeds produced during the last Aman season under the programme throughout the country.
According to primary estimation, the farmers have produced over 13 lakh tonnes of stress tolerant rice seeds this time through cultivating in over 2.84 lakh hectares of land with an average yield rate of over 4.42 tonnes rice per hectare, he added.
Farmers Jaladhar Barman, Sukumar, Beauty Begum, Khabir Uddin and Chand Mian of greater Rangpur region said they have achieved a bumper production of flood tolerant rice with excellent yields this season.
Framers Siddik Mollah, Koohinur Begum, Krishna Pado, Monwara Begum, Osman Gani and Ataur Rahman of different other districts said they have completed harvest of drought-and flood-tolerant rice with excellent yield rates similar to previous years.