The National Seed Board on Tuesday approved a new variety of zinc-rich rice for cultivation - 'BRRI dhan-100', developed by Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI).
The seed board announced the decision during its 104th meeting.
On the same day, the board also released a salinity-tolerant domestic jute—BJRI Desi Jute-10— invented by Bangladesh Jute Research Institute (BJRI).
The new variety of zinc paddy was approved for production to mark Sheikh Mujibur Rahman's birth centenary.
BRRI dhan-100 has higher zinc content. According to information released by BRRI, every kilogram of paddy contains 25.70mg of zinc.
BRRI said that following trials in 10 locations in Bangladesh, the average yield amount for this paddy was found to be 6.69 metric tons per hectare.
The zinc-rich paddy has a lifespan of 146 days and has been approved for cultivation in the Boro season.
Mesbahul Islam, president of the National Seed Board, said, "It is wonderful to be able to release the mega-variety, high zinc-rich 'BRRI dhan-100' to mark this Mujib centenary."
"The poor of this country gets most of their calories, proteins and minerals from rice. This zinc-rich variety will go a long way in fulfilling their nutritional needs for zinc," he added.
Md Shahjahan Kabir, director general of BRRI, said, 'Its yield exceeds that of BRRI dhan-29, and its lifespan is similar to BRRI dhan-28. By quickly popularizing this variety amongst farmers, we will increase production while providing nutrition as well.
Meanwhile, BJRI Desi Jute-10 variety has a short lifespan, is moderately salinity-tolerant and is suitable for sowing in saline areas of the south region.
One of the special characteristics of this new jute variety is that it can be cut when the tree is 105-115 days old. In five trials in Khulna and Barisal, fiber yield was 2.57 tons per hectare, while the yield of jute stick was 6.21 metric tons.
It was also decided during the meeting to facilitate the registration and renewal of seed dealers. With immediate effect, their registration will be valid for five years instead of a year.
The board has also fixed the demand for jute seeds at 7,300 metric tons for the 2021-2022 production year.