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Aus rice cultivation regains popularity in Rangpur region

RANGPUR, May 23, 2018 (BSS) - Cultivation Aus rice regains popularity in Rangpur agriculture region where the farmers have exceeded the fixed farming target of the less irrigation water consuming cereal crop this season.

Officials of the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) said sowing of Aus rice seed already completed and transplantation of Aus seedling would continue till this month in all five districts under the region.

The DAE has fixed a target of bringing 26,159 hectares of land under Aus rice cultivation to produce 68,969 tonnes of clean rice for Rangpur, Gaibandha, Kurigram, Lalmonirhat and Nilphamari districts under the region this season.

"However, the farmers have already brought 30,086 hectares of land under Aus rice cultivation exceeding the fixed farming target by 3,927 hectares of land or 15 percent," said Horticulture Specialist of the DAE at its regional office Agriculturist Khondker Md Mesbahul Islam.

Aus rice cultivation during the off-season between Boro harvest and T-Aman seedling transplantation regains popularity following various special steps taken by the present pro-farmer government.

The DAE and other agriculture-related organisations are implementing the special steps to enhance Aus rice cultivation and reduce pressure on underground water for increasing rice output to ensure food security.

"The special steps include conducting motivational activities to inspire the farmers in cultivating less irrigation water consuming crop of Aus rice, distribution of incentives and extending technical supports to them," Islam added.

Deputy Director of the DAE at its regional office Agriculturist Md Moniruzzaman said cultivation of Aus rice has been increasing in recent years producing additional rice under changed climatic conditions.

He said the government distributed special incentives, in terms of fertilisers, seed and cash money, to 8,300 farmers of all five districts under Rangpur agriculture region to make Aus rice cultivation programme successful this season.

Under the special incentive package, 8,000 beneficiary farmers got 5 kg Aus rice seed, 20 kg urea, 10 kg Di-ammonium phosphate (DAP) and 10 kg Muriate of Potash (MOP) and Taka 500 for irrigating Aus rice field on one bigha of land each.

"Besides, 300 beneficiary farmers got 5 kg Nerico Aus rice seed, 20 kg urea, 10 kg DAP and 10 kg MoP fertilisers, Taka 500 for irrigating Aus rice field and Taka 500 for weed control on one bigha land each this season in the region," Moniruzzaman added.

Talking to BSS, noted rice scientist Dr Md Abdul Mazid, who got the Independence Award 2018 Medal (food security) this year, said increasing Aus farming would help producing additional rice amid changing climate.

"Aus rice cultivation should be increased further using unused seasonal rain water during the off season as an additional and substitute cereal crop to costly Boro rice farming to increase rice production to ensure food security," Dr Mazid added.