Agriculture minister Muhammad Abdur Razzaque on Tuesday urged the expansion of three particular boro varieties for reducing its harvest time and increasing output amid increasing threats from natural disasters to agricultural production.
This year boro harvest in haor areas completed earlier compared to last year with an increase in its production per hectare because of the increased cultivation of the three varieties, said the minister at a press briefing in the morning.
‘The faster we can take these varieties to fields the better,’ said the minister adding that the increase in production would also allow authorities to set aside more land to growing other crops.
The varieties are BRRI dhan 81, BRRI dhan 89 and BRRI dhan 92.
About 64 per cent of overall boro harvest has been completed till date, almost double the rate of harvest of the country’s main grain last year, he said.
Bangladesh’s food security depends greatly on boro harvest, which occurs from late March through May, the time meteorologically known as pre-monsoon season prone to flash-flooding and other natural calamities.
Though flash flood did not occur so far this year with the harvest of boro already completed in areas prone to flash flooding, a heat shock damaged boro cultivated on 21,292 hectares early April, said the minister.
He said that the popular boro varieties of BRRI dhan 28 and BRRI dhan 29 also need to be replaced because of the varieties’ natural degeneration.
Razzaque said that so far per hectare production of boro was 4.17 tonnes per hectare, up from 3.97 tonnes last year.
He said that farmers were given free seeds of different hybrid varieties worth Tk 73 crore.
About 10 per cent of overall 48.83 hectares of land where boro was cultivated fell in flash-flood prone haor areas in seven north-eastern districts.
The minister expected that the boro harvest to cross 2 crore tonnes this year, up from 1.96 crore tonnes last year.
He said that the government mobilised 50,000 labours to work in haor this season for timely boro harvest amid the pandemic.
Asked about high rice price amid bumper boro harvest, the minister could not say whether the rice would come down anytime soon.
Bangladesh also harvests about 1.5 crore tonnes of aman and 35 lakh tonnes of aush to feed its population growing by the margin of two millions every year.
Razzaque said that the use of machines also made boro harvest easier and quicker for farmers this year.
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