Most of the farming fields of Boro paddy with golden hue have become eye-catching at present predicting satisfactory yield everywhere in the region including its vast Barind tract.

Farmers are passing busy times in nursing the crops at the final stage of Boro farming as they are very much hopeful about getting cherished yield like the previous couple of seasons.

According to the sources concerned, farmers have cultivated Boro paddy on more lands compared to the previous season because they are delighted with the selling price of transplanted Aman paddy at present.

Jakir Hossain, 54, a farmer of Hatibandha village under Godagari upazila, has cultivated paddy on 20 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 Tk 75,000 in addition to the paddy last season,’ Hossain said, adding many of his co-villagers have attained success in paddy farming.

Currently, businessmen and wholesalers purchase paddy and straw from the farmers’ field directly as the grassroots growers are being benefitted in many ways, said Atanu Sarker, sub-assistant agriculture officer.

He added that the price of both paddy and rice during the previous Boro, Aush and Aman were seen increased as a result of government-level rice procurement drives inspiring the farmers to cultivate Boro paddy on more lands.

Sarker also said that the farmers could harvest some of the advanced varieties including BR-28 within the next five to six days.

‘I have got better price of the latest Aman paddy. So, I have cultivated Boro paddy on 10 bighas of land,’ said Abu Rahman, a farmer of Gubirpara village under Tanore upazila, adding the farmers are happy over paddy cultivation.

Abul Kashem, a farmer of Mayamari village under Niamatpur Upazila, said that he cultivated paddy on 18-bigha of land this season.

Meanwhile, the Boro farming has exceeded the target by 6,783 hectares of land in Rajshahi division this season.

Department of Agriculture Extension has set the target of producing 35.24 lakh tonnes of paddy from 8.10 lakh hectares of land in all eight districts of the Rajshahi division during the current season.

But, fortunately, the farmers have brought 8.17 lakh hectares of land generating scopes of additional rice production, officials said.

Sirajul Islam, additional director of DAE, said that 24,600 small and marginal farmers were given support with seed and fertilisers in the division under the government’s agriculture incentive programme to boost the Boro rice production.

Bangladesh Rice Research Institute had 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 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.

He said that there was no way but to boost the rice yield to ensure food security amidst the existing challenges induced by the adverse impact of climate change and COVID-19.

‘We have ensured necessary irrigation facilities to the paddy farming fields through operating pumps in the country’s northwest region,’ said engineer Abdur Rashid, superintending engineer of Barind Multipurpose Development Authority.

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