Aush farming is very much cost effective as it requires less production cost and faces less natural calamity

A total of 69,300 small and marginal farmers get seed and fertilizer as incentives worth around TK 6.07 crore for the cultivation of Aush paddy in all eight districts of the division.

The beneficiary farmers are being given five kilograms of high yielding seed, 20 kilograms of diammonium phosphate and 10 kilograms of muriate of potash fertilizers for aush paddy cultivation on one bigha of land each free of cost under the government’s agricultural incentive program.

Ahad Ali, 35, a farmer of Ishwaripur village under Godagari upazila, received the incentives expressing his gratitude to the government for standing beside them. Another marginal farmer Muhammad Karim, 47, of Fulbari village is now happy after getting the incentives.

“We have already completed the incentive distribution activities in Godagari upazila,” said Atanu Sarker, Sub Assistant Agriculture Officer.

Sirajul Islam, Additional Director of Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE), said that the incentives distribution was almost completed successfully everywhere in the division.

He said the agricultural incentives will help boost aush paddy production as the country’s total production will be enhanced while the government has attached highest priority to the agriculture sector.

Islam said the aush farming is very much cost effective as it requires less production cost and faces less natural calamity.

Target has also been set to bring 62,003 hectares of land under direct seeded aman paddy in the division this season, he added. Brridhan-42 and 43 varieties, which are zinc-enriched and short duration, will be used for the farming to attain the production target.

Direct seeded farming processes reduce 45 to 50 percent production cost than the conventional system. “We have found the optimistic result in demonstration plots of Aush paddy in the area,” he added.

Meanwhile, the DAE has set a target to produce 6,44,225 tons of aush rice from 2,45,712 hectares of land in all eight districts under Rajshahi division.

Seedbeds on 12,379 hectares of land were developed to make the transplantation process a total success.

In many areas, the farmers have started transplanting aush paddy and the advanced varieties in particular.

Some new paddy varieties innovated by Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI) have opened up a door of enormous prospects in food security along with mitigating the crises of irrigation water in the division.

Dr Fazlul Islam, Principal Scientific Officer of Bangladesh Agriculture Research Institute, here said BRRI released seven drought tolerant varieties and some of those have gained popularity among farmers during the last couple of years.

He said the BRRIdhan-48 paddy variety has been gaining popularity among farmers in the Barind tract for the last couple of years.

It has been giving satisfactory yield with scanty rainfall and limited irrigation during the Aush season in the area.

The farmers are seen being interested in cultivating the newly developed variety in the vast Barind tract as part of their effort to adapt with the adverse impacts of climate change.

Dr Islam said the BRRIdhan-48 has become an icon of boosting paddy production in the region including its vast Barind tract during the last couple of years and Brri Dhan 82 has started gaining popularity with equal yield.

By virtue of early harvesting characteristics, the varieties supplement the farming of transplanted Aman and various Rabi crops like tomato, brinjal, mustard and vegetables as the region is conventionally famous for farming these crops abundantly.

Despite facing the adverse impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and flood situation, the farmers have harvested around 7.42 lakh tons of Aush rice from 2.44 lakh hectares of land in the division last year.

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