Bangladesh Agriculture University (BAU) has developed a new variety of rice which is salinity tolerant and blast-disease resistant. A group of researchers led by Vice Chancellor Dr Mohammad Lutful Hassan of the university developed the new variety named BAU Rice-3.
On September 19, the National Seed Board approved the new variety of rice.
Prof Lutful Hassan says this new variety of rice can be planted in almost all parts of the country, including salty and haor areas. It is a high-yield variety.
The yield per hectare of this rice is from seven to eight tonnes, which is one to two tonne more than BRI-28.
Researcher Prof Arif Hasan Khan Rabin, head of the genetics and plant breeding department at the university, said, "BAU Rice-3 is stronger than BRI-28. The grains do not fall from the panicles. The leaves of the plants are large and long. A mature plant of BAU Rice-3 is 110 centimeters long. On average, its lifetime is around 145 days."
Prof Lutful said, "Rice production is being greatly hampered due to the widespread incidence of neck blast disease. So we needed to invent such a disease resistant variety of rice. Research was done in the Bangladesh Agriculture University as well as in many other places in the country, after collecting a genetic line of rice from the headquarters of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in Manila in 2015."
Initially, the research was done at the university's laboratory. Then from 2016 Prof Lutful Hassan experimentally started cultivating the rice in different parts of the country with financial help from ACI Ltd.
Former farm supervisor of the university Mohammad Abdul Hannan Khan, Prof Mohammad Ashraful Haque of the genetics and plant breeding department at the university and Prof Arif Hasan Khan Rabin assisted Prof Lutful Hassan in the research.
The researchers think that farmers will benefit by cultivating BAU Rice-3. They hope the new variety of rice will become popular with farmers of the country.