Local varieties of rice are environment friendly

Alimuddin Sarker (45), son of Jasimuddin Sarker are living at Dewli, Tangail. He is a farmer,

He has one acre of land. There are five members in his family including two daughters and a son. In most of the years their crops in the field are inundated. They grow boro and amon rice every year. Amon rice is vulnerable to flooding by the Dhaleshwari river. Consequently they run short of food grains for six months. They apply chemical fertilizer, pesticides and other inputs with the expectation for a better harvest. But the crops in the amon rice raised with HYVs seeds are damaged by the flood in most of the years.

Under these circumstances, recently there was a meeting on Water and food security at the residence of Mr. Chand, Memebr, Dewli Union Parished. Jamal attended this meeting. The adverse impacts of chemical fertilizer and pesticides on soil, water, crops and environment were discussed. These topics appeared interesting to him. There were discussions as to how crops can be raised abandoning the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. The methods of compost preparation were discussed focusing the need for practicing organic agriculture to maintain environmental balance including soil fertility.

Crop selection for adaptation to vulnerability of environmental hazards was discussed with special emphasis on deep water rice. There are some local varieties of rice that can be planted in areas prone to flooding. Hijaldigha, Chamara, Dhepa, etc have the stem elongation capacity to grow with rising water. The stem of these varieties is long and thus provides straw for cattle.

Jamal got seed of Hijaldigha and Depha from UBINIG. He had sown that seed in the field. There was excellent emergence and establishment of seedlings.

Jamal said, “I am happy that I have a plot of rice tolerant to flooding. So I have a sense of security of a good crop, a good harvest and food security for my family. I am also happy that I have the rice seed free of cost. Moreover, there is no need of chemical fertilizer pesticides, no unpaid dues in any stores or money lenders.”

Local species of fish including khaisha,tengra, shoel, taki, puti, mala, baine etc were available in the rice field during the rainy season. These local varieties of rice are tolerant to inundation and also environment friendly.

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