The government has, so far, procured around 1.24 lakh tonnes of Aman rice during the current procurement drive contributing a lot towards ensuring food security.
As part of the nationwide ongoing Aman rice procurement drive, the government has procured the food grain from all eight districts in Rajshahi division.
Faruque Hossain Patwary, Regional Controller of Food, said they procured around 1,24,297.67 tonnes of boiled rice at the rate of Taka 40 per kilogram till Thursday last.
He said the procurement drive of the newly harvested rice is going on in full-swing everywhere in the division that created a high hope of ensuring food security.
Faruque Patwary said the government has set a target of procuring 1,56,374 tonnes of boiled rice during the current drive. He said they will procure 2,904 tonnes of rice from the growers directly.
Contracts have been signed with 3,951 millers for collecting 1,56,373.77 tonnes of boiled rice.
They also procured 5,115.88 tonnes of paddy till the same day. Target has been set to procure 43,404 tonnes of paddy at Taka 27 per kilogram, he added.
Meanwhile, farmers have harvested around 24.13 lakh tonnes of Transplanted Aman rice from 7.79 lakh hectares of land as its harvesting process ended recently everywhere in Rajshahi division contributing a lot to ensure food security.
The Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) had set the target of producing around 20.49 lakh tonnes of Aman rice from around 7.74 lakh hectares of land in all eight districts in the division during the current season.
But, amazingly, the enthusiastic farmers have brought more than 7.79 lakh hectares of land, exceeding the target by 4,294 hectares, facing all the existing challenges.
Sirajul Islam, additional director of the DAE, said the farmers are happy after pulling in a good yield of transplanted Aman in the region.
He said the paddy farming has exceeded the target here significantly due to favorable weather along with frequent rainfall that contributed a lot towards successful completion of Aman seedlings transplantation on time.
Nazmul Hossain, 47, a farmer of Gohomabona village under Paba upazila, said he has got around six tonnes yield of Brri Dhan-75 variety per hectare of land this season.
Another farmer Jahangir Alam, 54, of Bhujail village under Nachole upazila has achieved yield from 5.5 to six tonnes of Brri Dhan-51 per hectare on an average.
Measures with initiative of both public and private sectors were taken to ensure supplementary irrigation to the paddy fields from the surface water resources if needed.
Farmers didn't face any adverse situation. Surface water resources were also enriched through excavating a canal to ensure supplementary irrigation to transplanted Aman paddy, over 45,000 hectares of land in high Barind tract, said Jahangir Alam Khan, coordinator of Integrated Water Resource Management project.
Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI) has released seven modern paddy varieties of the Aman paddy for the welfare of common farmers in the region particularly in its vast Barind tract, said Dr Fazlul Islam, principal scientific officer of BRRI.
The varieties are comparatively high yielding, drought tolerant and shorter in duration than local variety 'Swarna' which is prone to various diseases and insects always affect the paddy.
Dr Islam said farmers have been encouraged to cultivate the latest varieties through various interventions including block demonstration, plots projection and supplying of seed free of cost.
He also said the modern varieties have opened up doors in enormous prospects of food security along with mitigating the crises of irrigation water.
Parija and Swarna varieties are being replaced by some of the developed varieties that can boost the Aman output, Dr Islam also mentioned.