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Bangladesh invented 113 rice verities since independence, 63 in past 14 years

Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI) invented 113 rice verities since independence while 63 of these high yielding verities were introduced in the past 14 years which are currently contributing 91 percent output of the staple food, officials said.

“The verities we have introduced in the past 14 years are stress tolerant and environment friendly and these are major contributor to the country’s total rice production,” Director General of Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI) Dr Mohammad Shahjahan Kabir told BSS.

He attributed the development to the government’s “agriculture-friendly” policy and particularly enhanced budgetary allocation for research “as a result which rice production has been steadily increasing annually by around 6.6 lakh tonnes from 2010”.

“As a matter of fact, until 2009, BRRI had to carry on its research works with the residual money allocate for different non-rice crop projects or amounts provided by international organizations like IRRI or IFERI under joint projects,” he said.

The government started providing money to BRRI for rice research, which enabled the country to bring under rice cultivation nearly 80 percent of country’s arable land including landmass exposed to salt, draught and submerged ones in different climatic conditions.

According to BRRI officials of the 63 verities, 24 are tolerant to salt, three each to draughts and floods, two tidal surges, several are simultaneously tolerant to different such conditions.

They said several of the verities contained “basmati” type “premium qualities”, zinc to fight malnutrition, diarrhea and pneumonia; or induced with elements favourable for diabetic patients.

Before 2009-2010, Bangladesh used to produce less than three tones of rice on an average rice production in per hectare while it is now reached to nearly four tones.

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