The government has set a target of procuring over 1.06 lakh tonnes of aman rice from all eight districts in Rajshahi division during the current season.
Under the procurement drive, the department of food has been procuring rice at Taka 40 per kilogram since November 7 last like other parts of the country. “We have procured 2,904.54 tones of boiled rice so far," said Faruque Hossain Patwary, Regional Controller of Food, adding contract has been signed with 3,765 mills setting target to procure 98,031.92 tonnes of rice until February 28, 2022.
He also said they will procure 2,904 tonnes of rice from the growers directly.
Target has also been set to procure 43,404 tonnes of paddy at Taka 27 per kilogram until the same stipulated time, Faruque Patwary added.
Meanwhile, harvesting of the transplanted aman paddy is going on in full swing everywhere in the division generating seasonal employment scopes of scores of unemployed people at present.
Farmers are also happy after getting satisfactory yield of the newly harvested aman paddy which has also generated scopes of ensuring food security. DAE officials said suitable climate conditions along with frequent rainfall during the farming season unleashed the hope of getting desired production of T-aman paddy. Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) has set a target of producing more than 20.49 lakh metric tons of transplanted aman rice from 7.74 lakh hectares of land in the division this season.
DAE Additional Director Sirajul Islam said 34,400 farmers were given incentives of seed and fertilizers worth around Taka 2.54 crore for the paddy farming in the division during the current season. Of them, 28,600 farmers were given five kilograms (KGs) of seeds, 10-kg Di Ammonium Phosphate (DAP) and 10-kg Muriate of Potash (MOP) fertilizer valued at about Taka 1.90 crore for high yielding varieties of Aman paddy.
Simultaneously, another 5,800 farmers received two-kg seed, 20-kg of DAP and 10-kg of MOP fertilizer around Taka 63.80 lakh for hybrid varieties of Aman paddy. Each of the farmers was given special support for paddy farming on one bigha of land with the main thrust of boosting paddy yield through enhancing their level of confidence.
Nazmul Hossain, 47, a farmer of Gohomabona village under Paba upazila, said he has got around six tonnes yield of BRRI Dhan-75 variety per hectare of land this season.
Another farmer Jahangir Alam, 54, of Bhujail village under Nachole upazila has achieved yield from 5.5 to six tonnes of BRRI Dhan-51 per hectare on an average. “We are ready to harvest the golden grain crop as it will start within the next couple of weeks in full-swing," said Abdus Samad, a farmer of Rajabari village in Godagari Upazila. He also said many of the farmers have already harvested the advanced varieties of T-aman paddy while they get good yield.
Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI) has released seven modern paddy varieties of the Aman paddy for the welfare of common farmers in the region particularly in its vast Barind tract, said Dr Fazlul Islam, principal scientific officer of BRRI.
The varieties are comparatively high yielding, drought tolerant and shorter in duration than the local variety 'Swarna' which is prone to various diseases and insects that always affect the paddy.
Dr Islam said farmers have been encouraged to cultivate the latest varieties through various interventions including block demonstration, plots projection and supplying of seed free of cost.
He also said the modern varieties have opened up doors in enormous prospects of food security along with mitigating the crises of irrigation water.
Dr Islam also mentioned that Parija and Swarna varieties are being replaced by some of the developed varieties that can boost the Aman output.