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20 May, 2018 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 19 May, 2018 11:10:50 PM
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Rice research needs a boost

Rice research 
needs a boost

Research on the staple food of the country is unfortunately not advancing along expected lines. According to a report of this newspaper yesterday, only eight experts are presently working at the Hybrid Rice Division of Bangladesh Rice Research Institute’s (BRRI) and the acute shortage of manpower has evidently hit hard the research of high-yielding varieties of rice. But according to experts there is a huge potential for cultivating HYVs in Bangladesh during the Boro season. It is possible to raise rice production by planting a proper variety by selecting quality seeds.

The agriculturists at the BRRI recently released two short-duration HYV rice varieties—“BRRI Hybrid Dhan-5” and “BRRI Hybrid Dhan-6”—for Boro and Aman seasons. The division is also working to develop another HYV for Boro that could be harvested in 135 days.

That is quite fine. But the question is why a small team of scientists is engaged to develop and distribute HYV rice when the agriculture of the country faces various natural vagaries? Farmers in the country often have to face loss in terms of production because of floods or absence of adequate irrigation during the periods of drought. In the southern region of the country, because of high salinity in the soil, farmers have stopped cultivating rice there.

Against all these setbacks, when the government’s policy makers on agriculture should have given a thrust on developing water-resistant, salinity-tolerant and high-yielding varieties of rice, the ground reality is rice research is going on with only a handful of researchers. Even more worrying is the fact that the population of the country each year growing rapidly and it will do so continuously; but our land resources on the country is not increasing. Therefore, the answer to this problem is maximizing the use of existing land resources and developing more high-yielding, water-resistant and salinity-tolerant varieties of rice plus accruing benefits from multiple crop farming.

But with little investment in agriculture by the government, Bangladesh can never hope to gain benefits in all these. Obviously, thrust should be given to the country’s existing rice research by increasing the number of researchers in the field and expanding the scope of research. In China and India, there are a great number of agricultural scientists who are working for developing high-yielding rice varieties and these countries have become not only self-sufficient in rice production, but are exporting their surplus production. Why should we lag behind because of the negligence to the field?       

 

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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