Rangpur, Bangladesh (BBN)-Bangladesh became successful for past four consecutive years in cultivating stress tolerant rice to increase rice production substantially and ensure food security despite climate change impacts.
Cultivation of the flood-drought-and saline-tolerant rice varieties has already become popular following successful seeds multiplication and repeated bumper output during the period creating new hope in the country’s agriculture sector.
The Stress Tolerant Rice for Poor Farmers in Africa and South Asia (STRASA) Project has been implementing the programme with Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) funding through International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) for countrywide expanded cultivation of these rice varieties through seed multiplication.
According to concerned sources, different government, non-government and private organisations distributed 1.13 lakh tonnes of stress tolerant rice seeds among farmers during this Aman season to cover 45.36 lakh hectares land under STRASA-IRRI Project in Bangladesh.
Under the programme, over 1.087 lakh tonnes seeds of flood tolerant BRRI dhan51, BRRI dhan52, BINA dhan11, BINA dhan12, 78.8 tonnes of saline tolerant BRRI dhan53 and BRRI dhan54 and 4,009.7 tonnes seeds of the drought tolerant varieties like BRRI dhan56 and BRRI dhan57 rice have been distributed during this Aman season.
Project Scientist (Country Manager) of STRASA-IRRI project in Bangladesh Dr M A Bari told BSS that the seed multiplication project is being implemented in collaboration with different government, non-government and private organisations.
The Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) distributed over 1.11 lakh tonnes of these stress tolerant variety rice seeds, Bangladesh Agriculture Development Corporation over 1,363 tonnes, Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI) 3.2 tonnes, Bangladesh Institute of Nuclear Agriculture (BINA) 10.5 tonnes, ACI Limited 26 tonnes, Lal Teer Seeds 5.6 tonnes and different seeds producers’ associations distributed 534 tonnes seeds of stress tolerant rice seeds this time.
Besides, tens of hundreds more farmers have been cultivating these stress tolerant rice varieties using their own seeds produced by them during the last Aman season under the programme in the stress prone areas in the country, he added.
Rangpur Regional Additional Director of the DAE Kamal Kumar Sarker told BSS that cultivation of flood-, drought- and saline-tolerant paddies is becoming popular among the farmers to increase rice production for attaining food security under adverse climate.
He suggested for innovating cold-tolerant and other variety rice seeds those might be appropriate for cultivation in the country, especially in the northern region, where the day and night temperatures have been showing huge variations in recent years.
Agriculture & Environment Coordinator of RDRS Bangladesh Mamunur Rashid said the stress tolerant rice seed multiplication programme has become successful through comprehensive GO-NGO-Private sector collaboration to increase rice production.
Farmers Ariful Haque Batul, Chand Mian, Aminur Rahman, Sukumar Roy, Beauty Begum and Shafikur Rahman and said they are continuing transplantation seedlings of these stress tolerant rice now after getting excellent yields in recent years.
After recession of floodwaters following submergence for 15-16 days, the partially damaged flood tolerant variety BRRI dhan-51, BRRI dhan52 and BINA dhan12 rice plants again grew well to give yield rates last year, they said.
According to South Asia Regional Coordinator of STRASA-IRRI Project Dr US Singh, Bangladesh has achieved laudable success in cultivating different stress tolerant rice varieties in recent years on its way to achieve sustainable food security in near future.
BBN/ANS-12Aug14-9:30pm (BST)