More drought-tolerant paddy varieties farming in Barind stressed

PABNA, Dec 21: Addressing a farmers gathering here on Wednesday, scientists and researchers viewed that the farmers should come forward towards farming drought-tolerant and short-duration varieties of paddy in the vast Barind tract to bring diversity in its farming system, reports BSS. They mentioned the drought situation has been exposed in the Barind tract comprising 25 upazilas of Rajshahi, Naogaon and Chapainawabgonj districts due to the adverse impact of climate change.

The declining rainfall coupled with the enhanced temperature due to adverse impact of the climate change has put the agriculture sector at a vulnerable condition. So, promoting need-based varieties and technologies has become an urgent need, they added.

Regional Office of Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI) organised the programme styled “Promotion of Drought Tolerant Paddy Varieties- BRRI dhan 56 and 71” held at Paba Upazila area under the district. Enhancement of Quality Seed Supply Project supported the event where more than 150 farmers from different areas attended. During his keynote presentation, Dr Shahjahan Kabir, Director (Administration and Common Service) of BRRI, said some drought-tolerant varieties were released on the field. The farmers in the drought-prone Barind area are cultivating those which are fit for the dried area. Some other varieties are now being examined and are likely to be released among the growers level very soon. He hoped that the upcoming entries would be more drought tolerant and higher yielder than the present varieties. He said the varieties give satisfactory yield with scanty rainfall without any irrigation during the rain-fed transplanted Aman season in the area.

With Dr Rafiqul Islam, Principal Scientific Officer of BRRI, in the chair, Principal Scientific Officer Dr Tomalyata Aditya and Senior Scientific Officer Dr Nazmul Bari also spoke. Dr Kabir termed the development of the drought- tolerant varieties as the demand of time and expected that the new varieties would contribute a lot to ensure food security. He hoped that the varieties would bring a positive result for around 2 million hectares of land in the rain-fed drought prone area alongside playing a vital role in boosting rice yield in the days ahead. By virtue of early harvesting characteristics the variety supplements the farming of various Rabi crops like tomato, brinjal, mustard and vegetables as the region is conventionally famous for farming these crops abundantly.

Source: The News Today. Date: December 21 2016