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Recent developments in rice varieties by BRRI are providing an opportunity
for farmers to increase their crop production.

Practical Action has been working in the

Sirajganj District in the Division of
Rajshahi, Bangladesh in the Tarash
Upazila. The districts of Bangladesh are
divided into sub-districts called Upazila.

Abdus Salam lives in Vadash village

within the Tarash Upazila. As a poor
farmer he only has 25 decimals of land
for cropping rice, mostly producing Boro
rice. A decimal is a unit of area used in
Bangladesh which is roughly equal to
1/100 acre (40.46 m² or 0.004 Figure 1: Abdus Salam in his rice
hectares). field. Photo: Practical Action

In previous years Abdus cultivated other verities of rice from the Bangladesh
Rice Research Institute such as BRRI Dhan 28 and BRRI Dhan 29 in the
Boro season. On average he would get 13 mounds (approx. 485 kg) of rice
from his land. This amount of rice was not enough to provide food all the year
round for his four family members. His own production only managed to last
his family for seven months of the year. For the remaining five months of the
year he had to work as an agricultural labourer to get enough food for his

Fortunately Abdus Salam was selected as one of the participants in one of

Practical Action’s Projects (Vulnerability to Resilience - V2R). He was
interested in rice based technology that could increase the amount of rice he
could produce on his existing land. As a response to this the project provided
0.5 kg of the BRRI Dhan 50 variety seed which was collected from BRRI.

Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI) has developed over 50 different

verities of rice with the newest varieties; BRRI Dhan-48, BRRI Dhan-49,
BRRI Dhan-50 (also known as Banglamoti) and BRRI Hybrid Dhan-2 only
recently becoming available to farmers.

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New variety of rice increases prodcution Practical Action

The different verities have different characteristics and are suited to different
growing seasons within Bangladesh. The Aman harvest is in November /
December while the Aus harvest, the second harvest is during the summer
while a third harvest is increasingly
being squeezed into the dry season,
from October to March, if irrigation is
available. BRRI-50 is a fine slender
aromatic rice suitable for ‘Polou’ a
local delicious dish of rice and meat
boiled in butter.

The V2R project also provided

knowledge and skills on the
production and management of BRRI
Dhan 50 rice variety. Abdus Salam
Figure 2: DAE personnel (SAAO)
received this information and applied
visited the field on Field Day. Photo:
Practical Action Bangladesh.
it carefully with great enthusiasm. He
transplanted the produced seedlings
(BRRI Dhan 50) in 12 decimal of his land and the remaining portion of land
was used for BRRI Dhan 29.

Harvesting produced approximately 9 mounds (325 kg) of BRRI Dhan 50 rice

from the 12 decimal area of land, equivalent to 6.69 tonnes per hectare. In
addition it is a fine quality rice with a good fragrance. This variety is the only
aromatic rice variety that can be produced in the Boro season with higher
yield. Abdus hopes that he will get a better market price because it is a good
quality grain.

A field day was held at the end of seasons in Abdus Salam’s courtyard looking
at the performance of the new rice verity. The personnel from the Department
of Agricultural Extension (DAE), along with a number of farmers participated
in the field day. Abdus Salam said many people asked him about this variety
of rice and its field performance (high yield, low production cost etc.). It was
very good compared to other rice varieties; it is very new with a good
fragrance. Abdus said “Today I have got my result and I am very happy with
the yield performance”. During the field day a DAE Sub-Assistant Agriculture
Officer expressed that he had not yet been informed from DAE about this rice
variety and the quality of rice was very good and urged other farmers to collect
seeds from him to cultivate for next year. He specially requested Practical
Action to demonstrate the new variety in 3 or 4 other locations in Tarash
Upazila as well as in other districts to inform others.

The participated farmers requested Abdus Salam to preserve all the rice grain
as seeds so that he could supply it to the other farmers in the next production
season. So Abdus Salam kept all the grain as seeds and distributed it among
other farmers of the areas.

New variety of rice increases prodcution Practical Action

As a result of using the new variety of rice his confidence level has increased
regarding quality of crop production especially seeds which will act positively
on his future rice production.

References and Further Reading

Bangladesh Rice Knowledge Bank (BRKB)
BRKB is an information resource on rice production in Bangladesh and the
region. The resources are from senior scientists of Bangladesh Rice Research
Institute (BRRI). Most of the material is in Bangla making them accessible to

Bridging the Rice Yield Gap in Bangladesh - Sheikh A. Sattar* FAO

BRRI Dhan 50 (Bangla), Department of Agricultural Extension, Government of

the People’s Republic of Bangladesh.

Bangladesh Perspectives on High Yielding Rice Variety Production for Food

Security and Experience-Sharing on Adoption of Hybrid Rice Dr. ASM
Masuduzzaman, Principal Scientific Officer, Plant Breeding Division, BRRI,

New Variety of Rice Increases Production was written by Practical Action

Bangladesh, November 2013.

Practical Action Bangladesh

GPO Box 3881
Dhaka 1000
Tel: +880 (0)2 865 0439
Fax: +880 (0)2 967 4340

Practical Action is a development charity with a difference. We know the simplest ideas can have the
most profound, life-changing effect on poor people across the world. For over 40 years, we have been
working closely with some of the world’s poorest people - using simple technology to fight poverty and
transform their lives for the better. We currently work in 15 countries in Africa, South Asia and Latin