The government distributed special incentives in terms of Aus rice seed and fertilisers worth Taka 5.75 crore among 34,029 farmers of Rangpur agriculture region to enhance Aus rice production this season, reports BSS.
Officials of the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) said beneficiary small and marginal farmers are continuing sowing of Aus rice seed and preparing seedbed in full swing after getting Aus rice seed and fertilisers free of costs.
“With the incentives, each beneficiary farmer is cultivating Aus rice on one bigha of land in all five districts of the region,” Horticulture Specialist of DAE at its regional office Agriculturist Khondker Md Mesbahul Islam said.
He said distribution of huge Aus rice seed and fertilisers as incentives along with conducting motivational activities by DAE and other organisations are inspiring farmers in expanding cultivation of less irrigation water consuming Aus rice.
Following similar steps taken by the government, farmers brought 40,618 hectares of land under Aus rice cultivation exceeding the fixed farming target on 26,159 heaters of land by 14,459 hectares or 55.27 percent in the region last year.
“The farmers also produced an all-time record quantity of 1.23-lakh tonnes of clean Aus rice exceeding the fixed production target of 68,969 tonnes of clean Aus rice by 54,381 tonnes or 78.85 percent last year in the region,” Islam said. During the current season, a target of producing over 1.56-lakh tonnes of clean Aus rice has been fixed from 54,775 heaters of land this season for the region.
Of them, farmers will produce 40,534 tonnes of clean hybrid variety Aus rice from 2,259 hectares of land, over 1.15-lakh tonnes of high yielding variety Aus rice from 40,795 hectares and 553 tonnes of local variety Aus rice from 1,721 hectares of land.
“Meanwhile, farmers completed sowing of Aus rice seed on 22,748 hectares of land or 41.64 percent of the fixed farming target and prepared Aus rice seedbed on 2,594 hectares against the fixed target of 2,615 hectares of land by Wednesday,” Islam added.
Deputy Director of DAE at its regional office Md Moniruzzaman said farmers started sowing Aus rice seed from March 15 last while transplantation of Aus seedling will begin soon in the region. “Under special incentive package, each beneficiary farmer got 5 kg high yielding variety Aus rice seed, 15 kg Di-ammonium phosphate (DAP) and 10 kg Murrieta of Potash (MoP) fertilisers to cultivate Aus rice on one bigha of land,” he said.
Some 10,572 beneficiary farmers got special Aus rice incentives in Rangpur, 6,692 farmers in Gaibandha, 6,479 farmers in Kurigram, 6,786 farmers in Lalmonirhat and 3,500 farmers in Nilphamari districts in the region.
Talking to BSS, small and marginal farmers Enamul Haque of village Mandalpara, Nasir and Abdur Rouf of village Biswanathpur and Abdus Salam of Shalmara in Mithapukur upazila here said they already got special incentives for Aus rice cultivation.
Farmers Moksed Ali, Azgar Ali, Aminul Haque and Amir Hamza of village Char Goytapara in Roumari upazila of Kurigram said they already completed sowing of Aus rice seed on their one bigha of land each after getting special incentives.
Talking to BSS, Agriculturist Dr Md Abdul Mazid, who got the Independence Award 2018 Medal on food security category last year, said the present government is promoting less irrigation water consuming Aus rice cultivation to produce additional rice.
“Promoting Aus rice cultivation during the off-season between Boro rice harvest and T-Aman rice seedling transplantation as an additional and substitute crop to costly Boro rice farming could further increase rice output to ensure food security,” Dr Mazid added.