The farmers of the Lakshmipur district are happy with the bumper production of the new rice variety BRRI-98 this year of the Aush season.
The fallow lands in Lakshmipur’s Char (island) areas have turned to arable lands with the cultivation and production of HYV BRRI-98 variety of Aush paddy developed by Bangladesh Rice Reasearch Institute.
The farmers reaped an average of 6.2 metric tonnes of paddy per hectare of land which is the highest record of production so far.
The upazila agriculture officials started encouraging the farmers to cultivate BRRI-98 before the start of Aush season. Later, they also ensured the availability of seeds in various markets through BADC seed dealers. With the advice and support of local agricultural assistants, the farmers bought BRRI-98 seeds and started making seedbeds.
According to the local farmers, they are hopeful of having more production of Aus.
“I usually cultivate paddy during the Aman and Boro season while my land has been left uncared for during the Aus season. Being inspired, I am cultivating my land this time,” Abdur Rahman Sohag, a farmer from Naldogi in Lakshmipur Sadar told Bangladesh Post.
Farmers of the Sadar upazila of the district Md Shohag, Abdus Samad and Abul Kalam cultivated new variety BRRI-98 for the first time. They said as the rice is fine, the price will be good. The price will be at least Taka 50 to 100 more per maund than BRRI-48 depending on the quality of paddy.
Rice of this paddy is thinner, not sticky and crispy. It has a huge demand among consumers, said the Director (Administration) of BRRI Dr. Abdul Latif.
Farmers were usually reluctant to cultivate paddy during Aus season as the regular variety gives lower production and longer duration, he said, adding that this new variety has the potential to transform the landscape by impressive yield of around 20-30 maunds in each bigha.
“It takes 20 days in seedbeds and 90 days in cultivating. A total of 110 days need to be harvested while some farmers can harvest it in 105 days,” he said.
Moreover, the menance of pest attack in this newly developed BRRI-98 paddy is less than those of conventional varieties of paddy. Officials of Gazipur Rice Research Institute have opined the paddy will bring a mega-diversity in the production of BRRI-98 paddy at the charland of Laksmipur. Farmers of the region are very happy by receiving the record production even amid an adverse climatic condition.