Agriculture Minister Dr Md Abdur Razzaque has advised farmers to cultivate other crops like mustard and kalai pulses, rather than leave the land fallow between Aman and Boro paddy cultivation.
He was virtually addressing an event titled 'Farmers' Gathering and Field Day', organised by Bangladesh Atomic Agriculture Research Institute (BINA) on Wednesday in Tangail.
The event was organized during the field exhibition of a high-yield 'Bina-9' mustard variety.
Due to a focus on paddy cultivation, farmers have lost interest in farming mustard, kalai and other crops. This has resulted in a spike in import volumes of edible oil every year, spending a great deal of foreign exchange.
"If any additional crop can be cultivated without compromising on paddy production, both the country and its farmers will be benefited," he added.
He said that if farmers cultivated the Bina-16 paddy variety during Aman season, it would be possible to cultivate another crop, especially BINA-innovated mustard, prior to the start of the Boro season. Rather than reducing the paddy yield, it would help save hard-earned foreign currency.
The Bina-9 mustard variety has an average yield of 1.8 tonnes per hectare with an 87-day lifespan. In the areas where land is fallow between Aman and Boro seasons, it is possible to cultivate Bina mustard-9 after Bina Paddy-16 or Bina Paddy-17 during Aman season, according to BINA.
Boro paddy can be cultivated after harvesting this mustard variety without disrupting paddy cultivation, it added.