Rice yield up amid virus

The country’s rice production has increased by 8.4 percent compared to the last year despite the stagnated situation caused by coronavirus pandemic, according to a Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI) survey.

Paddy yield increased across the country considering the area of cultivated lands, production and the state of rice stock, it said.

Director General of BRRI Md Shahjahan Kabir unveiled  the survey at a webinar titled "Is Bangladesh going to face shortage of rice- Food security in post Covid-19" on Sunday.

Earlier, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) forecasted that Bangladesh’s rice production would decline by 0.28 percent in 2019-20 compared to last year but it, in fact, has increased to 38.7 million tonnes.

Bangladesh now overtakes Indonesia coming at the third spot in global rice production due to the government's agro-friendly policy, research and expansion.

Data from Department of Agriculture Extension's (DAE) crop-cut results in 64 districts shows paddy yields, on average, went up by 2 percent.

On the other, the BRRI’s crop-cuts results from 1,046 farmers shows paddy yield was up by 2.6 percent.

This years, Boro season saw a production of 20.26 million tonnes of rice – a 3.58 percent more than last year. Good weather, proper management, increase in use of DAP fertilizer in addition to price reduction, workshops and training for farmers increased the yields.

Aus cultivation saw 18 percent rise this year with farmers expected 3.56 million tonnes of paddy. But Aus production is likely to drop since flood hit 31 districts, according to the BRRI survey. 

A good number of farmers said they are getting higher price comparing to last year, thus, increased their income by 16.7 percent.

In the case of paddy, in June last year, farmers had 20 percent of the total stock of paddy, which rose to 29 percent in period this year.

However, the government stock saw a slight downtrend since people stocked extra due to coronavirus. The government has a stock of 9.27 lakh tonnes of rice, which was at 12.56 lakh tonnes last year.

The supply chain of the market will now not be disrupted due to the present rice stock, the BRRI survey predicted.