A large portion of the country's consumers are being deceived as a limited number of real varieties of rice names are now available in the markets, according to some agricultural experts.
Although more than two hundred varieties of paddy have been cultivated in the country, there are not more than 8-10 varieties of rice available in the market, they pointed out.
They made their observations on the occasion of Farmers’ Field Day on cutting and branding of BRRI dhan87 variety arranged by Shamsul Haque Auto Rice Mill Ltd.
Deputy Director of the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE), Nilphamari district Md Abu Bakkar Siddique presided over the event while the Chief Scientific Officer of Agronomy Division of the Bangladesh Rice Research Institute Dr Md Shahidul Islam was present as the chief guest.
Additional Deputy Director of DAE Dhaka Khamarbari Md Abu Sayem, Managing Director of the Avijat Group and the owner of the Shamsul Haque Auto Rice Mill Md Shamsul Haque, Senior Scientific Officer of BRRI Rangpur Regional Office Md Rakibul Hasan, Nilphamari Sadar Upazila Agricultural Officer Md. Kamrul Hasan and others were present as the special guests.
The agricultural experts also insisted that it is not possible to buy the rice of one’s choice in the name developed by the research institute.
To overcome this problem, a platform consisting of 15 farmers has been formed at Tupamari Dogochi village under Nilphamari Sadar Upazila while marketing is being done in collaboration with Shamsul Haque Auto Rice Mill and Cereal Systems Initiative for the South Asia (CSISA-III) funded by USAID.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr Shahidul said that as BRRI dhan87 paddy is an early and short duration (127 days) variety of aman season, it will open new doors of possibilities for the early cultivation of potato, mustard, maize, wheat and other rabi crops across the country, especially in the north.
The yield is 1.0 ton per hectare more than the local ‘Swarna’ variety and the market price will be higher as the rice is of premium quality, he added.
Mr Siddique said a significant amount of land at Nilphamari district is used for early potato cultivation.
He hoped that this rice variety would expand soon as it is an early variety.
Mr Abu Sayem said the present government has taken various initiatives to convert subsistence agriculture into commercial agriculture.
He hoped that the initiative of branding aromatic and fine rice in his real name would further expand the rice export trade in the world market.
Mr Shamsul Haque expressed his gratitude for the initiative of marketing rice under the real name of rice variety and expressed his desire to extend all possible cooperation.
He added the Avijat Group’s agricultural products and other consumer products are being exported to 35 countries around the world.