Local Rice Varieties Ensures Food and Feed Security

Ainal Hoque (42),Delduar, Tangail inherited 90 decimal land from his father. He has been living a happy life with two sons anda daughter.

His residence is on the bank of the Dhaleshwari river. The river water flows over his land in every rainy season. As a result there is regular siltation on land. Rabi crops grow well in the locality. Broadcast amon rice varieties including Chamardkigha, Hijaldisha, Laldhepa, Patishail, Patjag have been grown. The rice plants would grow about three feet tall before the entry of the flood water in the field in the rainy season. The plants would grow fast keeping pace with the rising flood water. There would be no loss of yield of rice due to flood. Rather it would increase yield by siltation on the base of the rice plants.

A few years ago, Majibor Rahman, a farmer in the village started boro rice production in the rabi season with irrigation. Following Mojibor Rahman, Aynal Hoque also started growing boro rice with irrigation.He used chemical fertilizer, pesticides and irrigation for boro rice production. There is a risk of boro rice production in the village. In some years the crop was suddenly submerged under flush flood just before flowing. As a result there was total loss of crop.

Under these circumstances, there was a Training in the residence of Mr. Chand, a member of Union Parishad organized by UBINIG. Aynal Hoque attended that meeting. The major topics in the training included crop production without chemical fertilizer, pesticides, drought tolerant and water logging tolerant rice varieties. The attributes of the local varieties of amon rice including laldhapa, patjak, patishail, etc. were discussed. In this context Aynal remembered his past days. There were many varieties of rice. Those varieties were tolerant to both drought and water logging. These varieties needed no chemical fertilizer, pesticides and irrigation. There was less cost of production. As a result there was no need of borrowing money from the money lender, NGO or other sources. Moreover, he had seed in own hand.

With the introduction of chemical agriculture, following the examples of others Aynal became greedy for higher yield. For sometimes he got higher yield but ultimately he became loser for higher cost of production. The net return from production was negative. Ultimately, he became pauper. Aynal also lost different varieties of local rice seeds. At this point of time he got rice seed of local variety from UBINIG.

He got the seed of laldhepa variety. This variety is known for its water logging tolerance. This is very much suitable for flood prone area.

Aynal happily mentioned, “ I am proud to have a good harvest of rice. I also have enough straw for my cow. This is because the local rice varieties ensure food security for us and feed for our livestock. Taking all these points into consideration, now I am happy”.

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