POST TIME: 20 November, 2019 00:00 00 AM
Aromatic rice varieties delight Rajshahi farmers
The varieties are cultivated on around 10 per cent of the total paddy farming fields in the region
BSS, Rajshahi

Aromatic rice varieties delight Rajshahi farmers

Borhan Uddin, 48, a farmer of Panchandar village under Tanore upazila, has brought 18 bighas of land under fine and aromatic paddy varieties cultivation in the current transplanted aman season.

He is now very much hopeful of getting good yield as well as satisfactory market price like the previous year.

Last year, he had cultivated the indigenous varieties on around ten bighas of land and both the yield and selling price were good that encouraged him to expand the farming.

Talking to BSS here on Monday Burhan said all the farming fields are now in an eye-catching condition as climatic situation remains suitable all along since the time of transplantation of the seedlings.

He said the farmers are habituated in cultivation of some five varieties including ‘Kalizira’, ‘Chiniatab’ and ‘Chinigura’ here since immemorial times but the Kalizira is very much famous among the farmers and the consumers as well.

As ‘polao’ varieties, demands and selling price of those are high in both local and regional markets as those are widely used in almost all family and social festivals and functions.

The region comprising the districts of Rajshahi, Naogaon and Chapainawabganj has tradition for production of the varieties, which are contributing a lot towards escalating the local economy.

The paddies will be harvested within the next couple of weeks and this season’s yield is expected to be more than any other previous years.

At present, the paddies varieties are being sold at TK 1,800 to 2,000 per mound (40 kilograms) in local markets.

Golam Kibria, 54, another farmer of Laxmipur village under Nachole upazila, is now delighted over his present farming. He has harvested 14 mounds yield from per bigha of land last season.

Not only Burhan and Kibria, thousands other farmers are cultivating the aromatic paddies side by side with other conventional ones. The present growing field are abounds with smell of those.

Sub Assistant Agriculture Officer Samsher Ali said farming of the varieties is increasing gradually. In this current season, extent of natural disaster and disease infestation is comparatively less than that of the previous seasons.

He said salient feature of those are: farming on comparatively high land, late and long duration variety and less production.

The farmers faced a loss condition caused by natural disaster a few years back. But, now they recoup the losses through expanding the farming.

Farmers get 12 to 15 mounds yield per bigha of land on an average and get TK 1,800 to 2,000 per mound as sell proceeds, which are more than any other variety. So, the farmers become benefited through farming of the varieties.

Additional Director of the Department of Agriculture Extension Deb Dulal Dhali said the varieties are cultivated on around ten percent of the total paddy farming fields in the region.

Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI) has, so far, released three fine and aromatic varieties namely BR-5, Brridhan-34 and Brridhan-70 for cultivation in the region to boost the field level yield, said Dr Aminul Islam, Chief Scientific Officer of BRRI.

He said the Brridhan-70 is slender, fine and aromatic and can give yield around five tonnes per hectare while the yield of Brridhan 34 and 70 is around 3.5 tonnes per hectare.

President of Rajshahi Chamber of Commerce and Industries Md Muniruzzaman said the districts of Rajshahi, Naogaon, Chapainawabganj, Natore and Dinajpur produce good quality aromatic rice.

There exists a tremendous scope to export aromatic rice. There is a need for a collaborative approach involving producers, millers, exporters and financial institutions, the chamber leader said.