Farmers have started harvesting Boro paddy at present with festivity by dint of satisfactory yield in the region including its vast Barind tract.
Now, most of the farming fields have taken an eye-catching look as early varieties of paddy are now in ripening stages.
The mind-blowing yield has created a high hope of supplementing the government efforts of ensuring food security.
At this initial stage, farmers are seen harvesting some high yielding and short duration varieties like BR-28 and local jira variety generating job scopes for the seasonal workers. The other varieties will be harvested within the next two to three weeks.
Abdul Matin, a farmer of Choitannapur village under Godagari upazila, said he has harvested 22 mounds of yield of BR-28 from each bigha of land, while last year’s yield was 19 mounds.
He has cultivated Boro paddy on 12 bighas of land this season saying all of his farming conditions are very much optimistic.
Golam Mostofa, 56, another farmer of Kacharipara village, who have brought 15 bighas of land under the paddy farming this season. He has harvested a few parts of the paddy attaining 23 mounds of yield of jira variety from per bigha of land.
Mozammel Haque, 54, another farmer of Shitlai village under Paba upazila, has cultivated paddy on 17 bighas of land this season whereas the previous season’s acreage was 15 bighas.
Good yield and enhanced selling prices of both paddy and straw have encouraged him to cultivate paddy on more lands.
“I have sold only straw worth around Taka 85,000 in addition to the paddy last season,” Haque said, adding many of his co-villagers have attained success in paddy farming.
Sub Assistant Agriculture Officer Atanu Sarker told BSS that the farmers are now delighted over their achieved yield, adding: “Suitable climatic conditions and government support to the farmers are being judged as the main reasons behind the good yield.”
He added that the price of both paddy and rice during the previous Boro, Aush and Aman were seen to increase as a result of government-level rice procurement drives inspiring the farmers to cultivate Boro paddy on more lands.
Sarker also said the farmers can harvest some of the advanced varieties including BR-28 within the next five to six days.
The Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) has set the target of producing 35.51 lakh tonnes of paddy from 8.12 lakh hectares of land in all eight districts of the Rajshahi division during the current season.
But, fortunately, the enthusiastic farmers have brought 8.21 lakh hectares of land generating scopes of additional rice production, Khayer Uddin Mollah, Deputy Director of DAE, said.
Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI) has taken diversified steps including farmers’ training, projection plot and supplying of the newly developed high yielding varieties among the growers to make the IRRI-Boro farming a total success.
BRRI has released 14 Boro varieties of paddy which are appropriate for Rajshahi region including its Barind area, said Dr Fazlul Islam, Principal Scientific Officer of BRRI, adding, of those, Brridhan50 is export-oriented premium quality rice, Brridhan58 is comparatively high yielding and Brridhan84 is iron and zinc-enriched.
The conventional varieties are being replaced by modern varieties which are good signs for the region in terms of boosting yield, he said.
“We have ensured necessary irrigation facilities to the paddy farming fields through operating pumps in the country’s northwest region,” said Engineer Abdur Rashid, Executive Director of Barind Multipurpose Development Authority.
In the previous season, farmers produced 35.63 lakh tonnes of Boro rice from 8.15 lakh hectares of land in the division.