Attainment of food security through flood tolerant Aman paddy
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Attainment of food security through flood tolerant Aman paddy BSS, Rangpur
Bangladesh is going to achieve complete food security soon through largescale countrywide farming of flash-flood tolerant Aman varieties from this season to ultimately produce an additional six million tonnes paddy annually. The farmers became happy following release of seeds of Swarna Sub 1 as BRRI dhan 51 and BR 11 Sub 1 as BRRI dhan 52 last month by the technical committee of the National Seed Board enabling them large-scale farming and producing the seeds commercially. Rice scientists of Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI) and International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) successfully completed all field level experiments, researches and validation of these flash- flood tolerant variety paddies in recent years. The government went to the large-scale farming of these paddies from this season as the experiments showed that the varieties can sustain 10 to 17 days submergence paving the way of producing five tonnes paddy per hectare in the vast flash flood prone areas. The success was achieved through farming Swarna Sub1, BR11 Sub1, IR64 Sub1 and Sambamasuri Sub1 flood-tolerant varieties paddy using Participatory Variety Selection Mother Trial and Developed Agronomical Management Method methods. In Bangladesh, scientists and farmers successfully cultivated the paddy in on-station Rangpur BRRI Regional Station and on- farm farmers' fields at Rangpur, Kurigram, Lalmonirhat, Gaibandha, Sirajganj and Nilphamari districts during the past two years. The varieties are being cultivated successfully in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Orissa and other States where three varieties except IR64 Sub 1 seeds were officially released by the Government for large-scale farming that already brought huge successes in India. Scientists of BRRI, IRRI, Central Rice Research Institute and Norendra Dev University of Agriculture Technology (NDUAT) of India and University of California (UC, Davis & Riverside) developed and validated the epoch-making technology. Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) have been providing financial assistances through IRRI to increase seed productions and disseminate the technology under its Stress Tolerant Rice for Poor Farmers in Africa & South Asia (STRASA) programme. The scientists expressed confidence to overcome colossal Aman crop losses being caused by floods in 12 lakh hectares potential area annually in Bangladesh and 60 lakh hectares in UP, Bihar, Orissa and West Bengal by large-scale farming of these varieties. "Last season, we successfully cultivated these Sub 1 varieties, growing plants of which sustained strains of floodwaters for 12-17 consecutive days in northern Bangladesh, then grew well and yielded better productions," Dr
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Bari told BSS. Rangpur BRRI Station with IRRI under Submergence and Flood Prone Environment Agriculture Project of Consortium for Unfavourable Rice Environment tested and validated these flood tolerant entries with GO-NGO collaboration since 2005-2007. Dr Bari said that some 2,000 hectares involving 25,000 farmers would be brought under farming of these paddies in 21 districts in six zones of the country this year when only 735 farmers cultivated these entries in 18.65 acres in six northern districts last year. Preparations of seedbeds will continue from June 15 to June 30 and transplantation of seedlings of all four Sub 1 entries will be completed by July 30 to harvest the paddy from the last week of September, to also combat monga, in the country, Dr Bari said.
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