Zinc-enriched rice sees successful farming | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, January 29, 2015 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:53 AM, March 08, 2015

Zinc-enriched rice sees successful farming

Zinc-enriched rice sees successful farming

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Farmers plant BRRI-Dhan-64, a zinc-enriched paddy invented by Bangladesh Rice Research Institute, at a field in Jhenidah Sadar upazila. PHOTO: STAR
Farmers plant BRRI-Dhan-64, a zinc-enriched paddy invented by Bangladesh Rice Research Institute, at a field in Jhenidah Sadar upazila. PHOTO: STAR

Zinc-enriched boro paddy BRRI-Dhan-64 invented by Bangladesh Rice Research Institute sees successful cultivation in the district, following approval of its commercial cultivation by National Seed Board last year.

The short duration rice can be harvested withen 100 days of planting and may yield up to 31 maunds per bigha if nurtured properly, researchers said.

On January 15, Md Saiful Islam, area co-ordinator of Agricultural Advisory Society (AAS), organised training on the cultivation of BRRI-Dhan-64 for 55 farmers of Jhenidah.

AAS Director Harun-or-Rashid, Jhenidah Sadar Upazila Nirbahi Officer and agriculturist Dr Khan Moniruzzaman and Mozibur Rahman of Havest Plus Bangladesh were prsesnt as trainer.

"BRRI-64 has been invented through cross pollination with local variety. Seventy-five acres of land have been brought under its cultivation in Jhenidah, Magura and Jessore districts," said Nasir Uddin Khan, additional director of the Department of Agricultural Extension in Jessore region.

District-wise, the areas are 50 acres in Jhenidah, 15 acres in Magura, and 10 acres in Jessore. 

The researchers claimed that the newly invented paddy will play a vital role in fighting zinc and protein deficiency in human body, especially for children and women.

As rice is the staple food of Bangladesh, the newly invented variety could provide useful food value for zinc enrichment for people and it will be especially helpful to prevent and cure diarrhoea and pneumonia in children, they said.

"The local varieties contain 9-12 miligrams of zinc per kg while the newly invented zinc enriched variety contains around 24 miligrams. It will prevent zinc deficiency in human body and help physical growth and mental development of the children," said Dr Alamgir Hossain, post doctorate fellow, Harvest Plus Bangladesh. 

"I took training on the cultivation of BRRI-64 Dhan on Januray 15 and I am cultivating it on one bigha of land this season," said Abdul Jabbar, a teacher of Narikelbaria ZA High School.

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