During the dry winter boro season, the Haor regions in the districts of Kishoreganj, Netrakona, Habiganj, Sylhet, and Sunamganj, Bangladesh, suffer from sudden flash floods almost every four years and the annual extreme winter cold. As a result, boro rice, which is more than half of Bangladesh’s rice production, suffered significant damage. Rice researchers and scientists propose developing short-duration, cold-tolerant, high-yielding rice varieties (HYV) to address the demands for boro rice cultivation in the Haor region.
The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), the Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI), and the Krishi Gobeshona Foundation (KGF) organized a training program on the cultivation of short-duration cold-tolerant HYVs in Haor regions last 8–10 November among farmers, field technicians, and extension workers to learn about the cultivation of high-yielding varieties and high-quality (short-duration cold-tolerant) rice varieties in the Haor regions.
A total of 75 farmers, field technicians, and extension workers from the Nikli Upazila of Kishoreganj district, the Nabiganj and Baniachong Upazilas of Habiganj district, and the Tahirpur Upazila of Sunamganj district in Haor participated in the training program facilitated by Dr. Mohammad Mobarak Hossain from IRRI. With the financial support of the Haor Flood Management and Livelihood Improvement Project (HFMLIP) of the Bangladesh Water Development Board, more than a thousand kilograms of BRRI dhan67 seed were given out for free as assistance to 144 farmers for this Boro season at the end of the training.
To date, a joint IRRI-BRRI project titled "Development of short-duration and cold-tolerant rice varieties for the Haor areas of Bangladesh" has been conducting research activities since 2020 in the following Haor areas: Chhitaban and Bara Haor of Nikli Upazila of Kishoreganj; Pakhatia Haor in Ajmeriganj; Kagapasha Haor in Baniachong; and Gangajuri Haor in Nabigan. In the next three to four years, researchers seek to develop one or two high-yielding, short-duration, cold-tolerant rice cultivars for the region.
Based on the findings of on-farm research studies conducted in the Haor region, scientists have found that the salinity-tolerant variety, BRRI dhan67, has cold-tolerant characteristics and a lifespan comparable to BRRI dhan28. In addition, the incidence of diseases and insects was significantly reduced. Because of this, there is a great desire among farmers to grow BRRI dhan67 during the current boro season. According to scientists, farmers, and extension agents, the cultivation of BRRI dhan67 during the Boro season in Haor districts could effectively mitigate the effects of rapid flash floods and winter cold, leading to the development of new short-duration, cold-tolerant, high-yielding rice varieties.
Dr. Jiban Krishno Biswas (Executive Director of KGF), Dr. Mohammad Rafiqul Islam (IRRI), Dr. Partha Sarathi Biswas (Chief Scientific Officer and Head, BRRI), Dr. Abu Sayeed (Senior Scientific Officer, BRRI Habiganj Station), Mohammad Belayet Hossain (Upazila Agriculture Officer of Nikli); Md. Noor-E-Alam Siddique (Deputy Director of the Department of Agricultural Extension of Habiganj) and Md. Hasan-Ud-Daula (the Upazila Agriculture Officer of Tahirpur) were present to support this training and seed assistance program.
Learn more about IRRI (www.irri.org) or follow us on social media and networks (all links down the right column).