In a bid to reduce the risk of paddies being damaged by early floods, the government is giving special importance to the innovation and cultivation of new varieties of paddies in the haor areas, said Agriculture Minister Dr Muhammad Abdur Razzaque.
Emphasis is being laid on cultivating paddies that ripen 10-15 days earlier than the regular varieties, the minister said on Sunday while addressing "Boro Paddy Cutting Festival" at Sadorer Haor area in Mithamain upazilaof Kishoreganj as its chief guest.
Dr Razzaque said, "Some years, paddies are damaged due to early flooding. We are working to reduce this risk."
Meanwhile, the minister distributed "Combined Harvesters and Reapers" used in harvesting paddy among local farmers during the programme, the Ministry of Agriculture said in a press statement.
He said considering the labour crisis in haor areas, combine harvesters and reapers are being provided on a priority basis for faster harvesting of paddy.
The government is providing combined harvesters and reapers, and other equipments to farmers at a maximum of 70% subsidy to reduce the cost of production and accelerate agricultural mechanisation, he added.
Addressing the farmers, the minister said only Boro paddy is grown annually in the vast haor lands. The productivity of this crop needs to be increased, he added.
"Our scientists have already developed high-yielding varieties of rice such as Bridhan 89, 92. We will give you these improved varieties of hybrid rice seeds."
He called upon farmers to come forward to cultivate the hybrid varieties of paddy.
This year, 1,66,950 hectares of land have been brought under Boro cultivation in Kishoreganj. Of this, 1,02,500 hectares of land are in haor areas.
Till Saturday, paddy has been harvested in 53% of haor and 39% of non-haor lands. The district has set a target of producing 7,11,580 metric tonnes of rice this year.