Agriculture scientists have innovated a new high yielding variety (HYV) of paddy to combat Monga (famine-like situation) in eight districts of greater Rangpur and Dinajpur in October and November, Rangpur Dinajpur Rural Service (RDRS) agriculture coordinator MG Neogi said.
It will help create jobs for labourers in October and November which is known as 'Mongo' period, said the agriculture scientist.
The new early variety of paddy was innovated after a seven-month research conducted by Research Initiative Bangladesh (RIB) in joint collaboration with Bangladesh Rural Development Board (BRDB), Thengamara Mohila Sabuj Sangha (TMSS), Udayankur Seba Sangstha (SSU) and Rangpur Dinajpur Rural Service (RDRS), he said.
The research project started in June last year and ended successfully in December the same year.
According to the project paper, jobs for more than one million day labourers was created by cultivating paddy on 2 crore 64 lakh 2,126 acres of land in eight districts during Monga.
Under the project, 100 hectares of land were brought under cultivation of high yielding BRRI Dhan-33 in Sadar Upazila in Nilphamari, Gangachara Upazila in Rangpur, Ullipur Upazila in Kurigram and Hatibanda Upazila in Lalmonirhat district.
The research paper revealed that generation of employment of more than one crore day labourers was created by cultivating paddy on 2 crore 64 lakh 2,126 acres of land during Monga in eight districts of greater Rangpur and Dinajpur. It helped create jobs for labourers in October and November which is generally known as 'Mongo' period, agriculture scientists said.
Farmer Mohammad Oliur Rahman, son of Al-haj Abdul Majid Sarker of Purbakhatikha Hazipara village in Gangachara upazila, Rangpur is one of the beneficiaries. He told this correspondent he had cultivated BRRI Dhan 33 on 1.25 acres of land on experimental basis. He harvested 2.25 metric tons (MT) of rice at a cost of Tk 3,000 during Monga period. Earlier, he spent Tk 4,000 to cultivate paddy on the same land.
Oliur Rahman said, ' I have harvested early variety of paddy within 100 to 105 days of transplantation,' Oliur said. He said transplanted Boro required 150 days for harvesting. As a result it was impossible to cultivate potato and 'Mug' pulse on time. 'Now I can cultivate Rabi crops including potato after harvesting the early variety of paddy', Oliur said.
'I was benefited in several ways including early harvest of paddy during 'Monga' period and cultivated potato with less fertiliser.
Another beneficiary, Abdul Wahab, son of Amin Uddin Bepari of Kazaldanga Bheramara village under Ullipur upazila in Kurigram, said he had harvested more than two metric tons of paddy cultivating more than half acre of land.
I was benefited by early harvesting of crop during Monga, he said.