Volume 6 | Issue 18| September 22, 2012|



  
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COVER STORY

Lalmonirhat

Pariza Rice:

Brings Smile to Farmers

Pariza rice cultivation is gaining popularity among the farmers in Lalmonirhat. Farmers of different villages are excited getting additional crop in a short duration this year. Now, a good number of farmers are getting their interest to cultivate such variety of rice like Pariza to get additional crop in the next year.
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S Dilip Roy

Pariza, the short-duration rice variety was cultivated on 550 bighas (measurement of land) of land at 40 villages in the district this year with technical support jointly by; Bangabandhu Agriculture University, NGOs in Rangpur Dinajpur Rural Service (RDRS) and Jhumka Bangladesh. Total of 300 farmers of these villages harvested their additional crop. This year they got bumper output of this variety. RDRS official said that the farmers have been cultivating this short-duration rice variety for getting additional crop in the last four years. In the first year, in 2009, 42 farmers cultivated only 50 bighas land. The next year it doubled and in the third year, it turned into 240 bighas. This year, 300 farmers cultivated such variety on 550 bighas of land in the district. Some farmers cultivated Pariza with technical support from NGOs.

Israrul Islam, a farmer at Panchogram village in Lalmonirhat Sadar Upazila said that he started to cultivate Pariza rice in 2011. He cultivated one bigha of land for this variety last year and three bighas this year. He has already harvested paddy from his three bigahs of land. “I got 32 maunds (measurement of weight) of paddy from three bighas of land spending Taka 12,000. It is my additional crop. I am hoping I will cultivate more land for this variety in the next if I get proper technical support and advice from the government or NGOs,” he said.


Farmers harvesting Pariza in Ponchogram village

Motaleb Hossain, another farmer at same village said, his eight bighas of land were unused for 85 days after harvesting Boro to Aman cultivation. The short-duration rice variety, Pariza, is cultivated during this time. “I cultivated Pariza paddy on two bighas of land on the start of May, and I harvested it on the start of August. After harvesting Pariza paddy, I cultivated Aman in the same land,” he said.

Soilen Chandro Roy, a farmer at Sindurmoti village of Lalmonirht Sadar Upazila said, his lands used to remain idle every year from Boro harvesting to Aman cultivation. Taking advice and technical support from RDRS, he cultivated Pariza on his four bighas of land this year. He has already harvested the paddy in the first week of August and he got bumper output. “I have faced problems with insects and birds in the paddy field that needs extra expenditure for labours and insecticide. As few farmers were involved in Pariza cultivation and most of the land remained unused and empty, my land remained prone to insects and birds. I used granular Carbofuran pesticide, and then sprayed liquid insecticides during the second top-dress and milking stages of the panicle respectively to save the crop from rice-bug and stem borer insects,” he said.

The Panchogram UP chairman and Pariza paddy grower Delower Hossain said that the main problem of Pariza paddy are insects and birds. “As maximum land is unused and empty during start of May to start of August, the insects and birds attack on Pariza field. If many lands are cultivated for Pariza, the attacks of insects and birds will be reduced,” he said.

The Assistant Agriculture Officer of RDRS, Habibur Rahman Habib said the land which is usually cultivated for both Boro and Aman rice, is suitable for Pariza rice cultivation.

The agriculture co-ordinator of RDRS, Mamunur Rashid, said that, to control insects, 10 kgs granular Carbofuran per hectare may be applied during the first top-dress of urea, liquid insecticides may be applied during the second top-dress and during the milking stage of the panicle to save the crop from stem borer and rice bug insects. “In our previous experience we found that the farmers who executed this technology had a tough time to keep the birds away from crop fields. That is why this method should be implemented in community system. When a large number of farmers will have adopted Pariza rice technology, the problem will be solved automatically”, he said. He also explained that the land which is usually cultivated for both Boro and Aman rice, is suitable for Pariza rice cultivation. The seedbed of Pariza will be prepared around 15 days ahead of Boro rice harvesting. Land needs to be well ploughed immediately after harvesting Boro rice. The 15 to 20-day old Pariza seedlings should be transplanted on well-ploughed land in the first half of May. For this, Pariza rice seeds should be sown in the seed beds around 15 days ahead of Boro harvest. The rice seedlings should not be aged more than 20 days for transplanting. As few tillers come out from Pariza rice plants compared to other high yielding rice varieties, the spacing for transplanting should not be more than 15 cm from row to row as well as plant to plant. Three to four seedlings are transplanted in one hill. Within 8 to 10 days after transplanting, 75 kgs of urea per hectare has to be added to the soil for the first time. Within 30 days of transplanting, the same amount of urea has to be given for the second time. Then, the field needs to be kept weed-free for the first 40 days of planting. To control insects, 10 kgs of granular Carbofuran per hectare may be applied during the first top-dress of urea; liquid insecticides may be applied during the second top-dress and during the milking stage of the panicle to save the crop from stem borer and rice bug insects. After transplanting of 20 day-old rice seedlings, crops will ripen in 70 to 75 days. If 15 to 20-day old Pariza rice seedlings are transplanted in early May, it can be harvested in late July. If the farmers follow the technology systematically, around 3.0 to 3.5 tons of paddies can be harvested from one hectare of land. After reaping, the land should be ploughed well again, using recommended doses of chemical fertilizers and adequate cow dung for Aman rice crops and then 25 to 30-day short-duration Aman rice seedlings like BRRI dhan (paddy) 46, BINA dhan 7 of BU dhan 1 can be transplanted in the same land. By harvesting one extra crop, farmers will get extra paddy in the month of August, which is very a crucial time for climate victims. The best thing is that farmers can also save their crops from late-floods. He also explained about some most important benefits from Pariza rice cultivation, that is local Pariza rice can be cultivated between Boro and Aman season, when the land remains fallow. Each hectare of land requires around 60-70 agricultural labours for harvest and post-harvest operations.


Signboard reads that Pariza being harvested on the land

If Rangpur division is brought under this Pariza rice cultivation technology, it will create, additional 40 million working days meaning 2 million agricultural labourers will get job for 15 to 20 days. Every year, Bangladesh faces a rice-scarcity of between 2 and 2.5 million tons. To face this crisis, there is no other alternative but to increase rice production, additionally, Aman rice yields are often destroyed by annual floods, and arable lands are decreasing due to population increase. In this situation, additional rice production technology like Pariza can help reduce food insecurity by producing an extra cereal in limited lands. If this technology is possible to be implemented on 0.6 million hectares of land, around 1.8 million tons of extra harvest can be produced from 3.0-3.5 million hectares of land. If this technology is extended nationwide, then 9 million tons of extra paddies can be produced.

The average rainfall in the northern region is 350 mm in May, 500 mm in June and 550 mm in July, which is lost in the present cultivation technique, because after harvesting of Boro in late April, no crop is available in the field during May, June, and the first half of July. If the farmers grow Pariza as an additional rice crop, they will utilize the rainwater intercepted in these three months. Based on the nature of land, the farmers have to irrigate 10 to 15 times in Boro season for two and half month. Irrigating one hectare of land for one time requires 5 litres of diesel, costing almost Tk.300. So it will cost almost Tk.3,500 for 60 litres of diesel to irrigate for 10-15times in one hectare of land. So farmers require diesel of TK 2000 million for two and a half months irrigation in 0.6 million hectares of land in north western region of Bangladesh. This huge cost will be saved, if this new production technology is utilized. This is a big gain because the ground water level has been decreasing by 4 cm every year due to utilization of ground water for Boro rice cultivation, which is a serious threat to our environment. So, Pariza rice cultivation technology will contribute to the best utilization of rainwater. Late floods occur now in Bangladesh almost every year. During the last 10 years, these floods occurred between 26 August and 14 September. Given Pariza rice is possible to be harvested by the first half of August; the farmers can avoid flood risks and harvest the crop.

 
 
Pariza rice, Source: Internet

In general, cultivation of Boro and Aman cost around taka 62,350 and 50,600 per hectare respectively. On the other hand, Pariza cultivation requires only around taka 35,500 per hectare. Since price of paddy is comparatively lower compared to other commodities, the farmers have to face losses. Since the production cost of Pariza is almost half than that of Boro, execution of this technology will greatly help the farm households. Local rice varieties, which are short-duration in nature, are generally disease resistant and drought tolerant but they are getting extinct from Bangladesh. Through this technology, these eco-friendly rice varieties can be saved. During May, June and July, there is no way to cultivate any crops other than rice due to monsoon. So, farmers can grow Pariza rice in fallow land during May, June and July to utilize maximum rainfall and then cultivate Aman rice during August to November. As farmers are getting two rice varieties (Pariza and Aman) in a calendar year, through which, it will be easier to motivate farmers to cultivate other crops in high land instead of Boro rice during December to April, as Boro rice requires a huge amount of ground water. The government's concerned agencies appreciate the potential of this additional rice cultivation technology, and they can take this technology as a national program under the climate change and food security program to protect rice field from late floods as well as to ensure food security at national level.

 

Cover Illustration by Ujjal Ghose


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