BENAPOLE, Oct 03: Jashore district for the first time has witnessed cultivation of the newly-developed high-yielding paddy variety Bina Dhan-25.
The paddy was cultivated on about three acres of land in the eight upazilas of Jashore on an experimental basis.
Cultivating the new variety, the farmers witnessed a good yield of the paddy.
The rice produced from the paddy is the thinnest of all the common rice varieties in the country. It also has better quality.
An average of 24 maunds of the paddy has been produced per one bigha in Jashore district.
Farmers and agricultural officials are over the moon with the produce.
Agricultural workers expressed the hope that the farmers will cultivate this variety on a large scale in the next season.
Sakina Khanam, the chief scientific officer of Plant Breeding Department of Bangladesh Atomic Agriculture Research Institute, said there has been a huge demand for fine rice in Bangladesh. But all have to depend on import of the variety to meet the demand.
In such a situation, a group of scientists from the plant breeding department started research on the paddy with the aim of achieving self-sufficiency in food and exporting the item.
After about 10 years of research, the Bina-25 variety was finally released in the current Boro season.
Farmer Nukul Pal of Padmapukur village of Jhikargacha upazila of Jashore cultivated Bina-25 paddy on one bigha (33 cents) of land.
He said, "The yield has been very good. I had about 24 maunds of paddy per bigha. I kept 22 maunds as seeds. I have already sold six maunds of seeds and am selling seeds at Tk35 per kg and at Tk1,400 per maund,".
He also said, "I crushed one maund of paddy into rice."
The rice is very thin and soft and the taste is better than all other rice varieties.
Getting benefit from the paddy, farmers will increase its cultivation in future, he added.
Farmer Bablur Rahman said, "Cultivation of the paddy needs less fertilisers and pesticides."
Farmer Masum Billah in Deyara village of Jashore Sadar Upazila said the same thing.
He said, "We have benefited by experimentally cultivating Bina Dhan-25. Farmers will benefit from this new variety."
Jashore Sadar Upazila Agriculture Officer Hasan Ali said the fields were attacked by Mazra insects a bit. Despite that, the desired yield has been achieved.
He also said the Bina-25 rice is more tolerant to more diseases and it is produced in a short span of time.
The agriculture department has planned to spread the newly-invented variety among the farmers across the country.
This agriculture official expressed the hope that Bina-25 paddy will one day capture the fine rice market.
Abu Talha, additional director (grains) of the Jessore office of the Department of Agriculture Extension, said in the current season, this variety was experimentally cultivated on eight bighas of land under the seed assistance scheme in eight upazilas of Jashore.
Harvesting of the paddy has already been completed in all upazilas and its yield was good as expected.
About 7.23 tonnes of paddy have been produced per hectare of land (about 24 maunds per bigha).
This time the paddy produced on an experimental basis has been kept as seeds so that other farmers can collect it.