Scientists of the Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI) have invented three new high-yielding varieties of paddy, in addition to the existing 94 Aman and Boro varieties. The three varieties—BRRI Dhan-90 and BRRI Dhan-91 of Aman varieties and BRRI Dhan-92—will reach farmers from the next monsoon with high hopes of producing additional crops, according to sources in the BRRI.
The three varieties were approved at a meeting of the National Seed Board held at the Ministry of Agriculture in the Secretariat, with agriculture secretary Md Nasiruzzaman in the chair, yesterday (Wednesday). Sources said BRRI Dhan-90 is a new high-yielding variety of aromatic rice with a production capacity of 5.07 metric tonnes per hectare in 117 days, against the existing variety of BRRI Dhan-34 variety of Kalo Jira rice with per hectare capacity of 3.58 metric tonnes. BRRI Dhan-91 is a semi-deep water rice variety which will increase with augment of water. Its production capacity is 2.36 metric tonnes per hectare, which is over one metric tonne more than the existing local varieties.
BRRI Dhan-92 of Boro Aman is a complementary variety of BRRI Dhan-29 and it would produce over half a metric tonne of the existing variety. Talking to The Independent, BRRI director general Dr Md Shahjahan Kabir said that with the three new ones, the number of varieties now stands at 97. Among them, 91 are inbreed and six high-breed varieties.
He said the BRRI is working to invent frequently new high-yielding varieties of paddy, replacing the old ones to ensure surplus of food against the increasing population. “We have prepared a Rice Vision 2050 aimed at producing 45 million metric tonnes of rice for an estimated 21.5 crore population by this time. New varieties will come every year and replace the old ones,” he added. The BRRI chief said they are working to produce 2.5 to 3 million metric tonnes surplus rice against the demand of the population by 2050.
Dr Khandaker Md Iftekharuddaulh, head of the Plant Breeding Division, said they expect that the new varieties would reach farmers through proper channels by the next monsoon during planting of Aman and Boro paddy. He said that among the three new varieties, two—BRRI Dhan-90 and BRRI Dhan-92—are to be cultivated in a favourable environment and BRRI Dhan-91 in an unfavorable environment.