The Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI) and the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) have developed a cold-tolerant variety of paddy to prevent the key staple being damaged by flood waters and severe cold in the country's haor areas.
"Paddy in the haor areas gets damaged by flooding every three years or so. Also, if farmers plant early, their paddy often gets damaged in severe cold. To address such problems, we developed a new variety of paddy," BRRI Director General Shahjahan Kabir said on a recent visit to an experimental plot of the paddy in Nagua of Habiganj district.
The new paddy variety is named "Bangabandhu Paddy100" and the Bangladesh Krishi Gobeshona Foundation financed the invention.
BRRI chief Shahjahan Kabir said, "We have already planted the new paddy variety in Nikli Haor of Kishoreganj, Shibpasha Bakatia Haor in Ajmiriganj upazila, Moker Haor in Baniachang upazila, and Gungiyajuri Haor of Nabiganj upazila, Habiganj's Tahirpur Haor, as well as Shanir Haor and Matian Haor of Sunamganj, as experimental plots."
"The Bangabandhu paddy 100 is expected to yield 7 tons per hectare. We will do further research on the variety to get its yields up to 8-10 tons and will release more high yielding varieties of paddy in phases," he added.
The BRRI Director General and Bangladesh Krishi Gobeshona Foundation Executive Director, Jibon Krishna Biswas, recently inspected BRRI's experimental plot of the new variety of paddy in Habiganj.
They both expressed much hope of a huge potential for the new paddy variety.
BRRI director Md Mozammel Haque said "Several lines of this new variety of paddy are rapidly growing in the experimental field and we are quite optimistic about this variety. This paddy will be released as a new variety soon and farmers in Haor areas will benefit a lot from it."
He said the yield time for the "Bangabandhu Paddy 100" variety will be 150 days like that of the BRRI-28 paddy and its seedbed can be made in October as it is cold-tolerant."
BRRI has also developed salinity-tolerant, stagnation-tolerant, and drought-tolerant varieties of paddy.