Agriculturists for smooth marketing of zinc rice seeds

Published : 12 Nov 2021 09:55 PM

Agriculturists at a workshop in Rangpur on Thursday stressed on smooth marketing of bio-fortified zinc rice seeds in local markets to expand farming, production and consumption of zinc-enriched rice for nourishment of common people. 

They viewed this at the event titled “Zinc Rice Seed Retailer's Workshop” organised by RDRS Bangladesh at Taraganj Upazila Agriculture Office of the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) at Taraganj upazila town in the district. 

The workshop was arranged with assistance of HarvestPlus Programme to disseminate technologies for cultivation, production, storing and smooth marketing of bio-fortified zinc rice seeds in local markets of Rangpur division. 

Twenty seed retailers and one representative of a seed company participated in the workshop arranged under the Integrated Food Systems Approach to Build Nutrition Security (IFS) project. 

IFS Project Coordinator of HarvestPlus Bangladesh Agriculturist Md Mazibar Rahman and Agriculture Officer of RDRS Bangladesh Agriculturist Md Fazlul Karim attended the event as special guests. Deputy Director (Seed Marketing) of Bangladesh Agricultural Development Corporation Agriculturist Md Asaduzzaman attended the event as chief guest with Taraganj Upazila Agriculture Officer Agriculturist Urmee Tabassum in the chair. 

Agriculture Officer of RDRS Bangla­desh Agriculturist Shahinur Islam presented the keynote essay discussing goals of the IFS project being implemented in Rangpur division with the assistance of HarvestPlus Bangladesh. 

The speakers put importance on inclusive efforts of the government and non-government organisations, seed companies and retailers in making bio-fortified high quality zinc-enriched rice seeds easily available for farmers in local markets. Agriculturist Majibar Rahman urged the government and nongovernment organisations and seed companies for preparing packets of zinc rice containing two kgs, 5 kgs and 10 kgs to make those easily available for farmers at the grassroots levels. 

The chief guest called for adopting latest technologies to produce and preserve zinc rice seeds for smooth marketing to enhance production and popularise consumption of zinc-enriched rice among people to increase their disease resistant capacity. 

“Zinc-enriched rice contains three most vital micronutrients of zinc, iron and vitamin-A deficiency of which in the human body reduces disease resistance capacity, causes diarrhoea, pneumonia, stunting and various complexities during pregnancy,” he said.