Bumper growth of Flood-tolerant Rice marks New Era in Agriculture
21 December 2014, Nirapad News : Flood-tolerant rice has achieved bumper output for the fourth consecutive time this year, thus marking a new era in the country’s agriculture to ensure food security under changing climatic conditions.
After completing harvest, farmers have got excellent yield of flood tolerant BRRI-51, BRRI-52, BINA- 11 and BINA -12 rice varieties even after submergence of the growing plants for over two weeks during recent floods. Following repeated bumper production of flood tolerant rice in recent years, the overall rice production has been increasing significantly bringing fortune to thousands of the farmers to improve their livelihoods. According to farmers, they harvested 3.5 to 4.5 tone paddy yield per hectare of flood tolerant rice varieties even after tender plants successfully sustained submergence under floodwater and resumed normal growth again in the flood-prone areas. They thanked the authorities of the Stress Tolerant Rice for Africa and South Asia (STRASA) Project for assisting them with Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) funding through the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in expanding cultivation of stress tolerant rice.
Farmer, s Beauty Begum of the village Kanipara and Profulla Roy of the village Purbo Echlee in Rangpur said they have got 4.5 tone average paddy yield per hectare after harvesting BINA-12 and BRRI-52 rice this season. They said that their growing rice plants sustained submergence for 18 days, then resumed normal growth after recession of floodwater and finally they got excellent production. Farmers Mostaq Ahmed and Boytullah of Lalmonirhat district said they recently harvested BRRI-52 rice cultivated on 50 and 52 decimals of land respectively though their growing rice plants remained submerged for two weeks this season. Farmer Suvanol Chandra of village Sankibhanga’ in Gaibandha district said he got 4.28 tone paddy per hectare after harvesting BINA-11 recently despite the growing rice plants remained submerged under floodwater for 19 days. Farmers Antaj Ali of village Khanpara, Shaher Ali and Hossain Ali of village Chhatrapur’ in Kurigram said their growing BRRI-51 and BRRI-52 plants remained submerged for 22 days in three phases during the recent floods. “Finally we got 3.5 tonne paddy per hectare after harvesting those recently,” the happy farmers said adding that farming of these flood-tolerant rice varieties have improved their livelihoods during the past four years. Farmer Lal Mian of village Char Patrokhata’ under Chilmari Upazila of Kurigram said he got 4.5 tone paddy yield per hectare after harvesting flood tolerant BINA-11 rice growing plants of which sustained 24-days submergence at a stretch. The miraculous success of Lal Mian has created enthusiasm among farmers of the area after harvesting of the crop on one acre of his land at a field day on November 30 last in presence of over 500 male and female farmers, agriculture experts and scientists.
According to sources, different government, non-government and private organisations distributed 1.13 lakh tones of stress tolerant rice seed among farmers during this Aman season to cover 45.36 lakh hectares land under STRASA-IRRI Project in the country. Besides, thousands of more farmers got excellent harvest cultivating flood tolerant rice varieties during this Aman season using their own seed stocks produced during the last Aman season under the programme in all 64 districts of the country.
Project Scientist (Country Manager) of STRASA-IRRI Project in Bangladesh Dr M A Bari said the seed multiplication programme under the project is running successfully in collaboration with different government, non-government and private organisations. Senior Scientist of IRRI and South Asia Regional Coordinator of STRASA-IRRI Project Dr U S Singh predicted brighter prospect for enhanced cultivation of stress tolerant rice in Bangladesh to ensure food security despite climate change.