Zinc-enriched rice meets nutrition, prevents disease: Experts

RANGPUR, Dec 20, 2016 (BSS) - Agriculture experts at a seed distribution ceremony here have stressed on cultivation and consumption of zinc-enriched rice to increase disease resistant and prevention capacities of the people by meeting nourishment.

They made the opinion at the ceremony organised by RDRS Bangladesh, an NGO, for distribution of high yielding variety zinc-enriched BRRI dhan74 and BRRI dhan62 rice seed among 127 farmers at Bhimpur village under Taraganj upazila on Monday.

The NGO has been disseminating technologies for cultivation, seed production, processing and storing of zinc-enriched rice in Rangpur division since 2013 as local partner of The HarvestPlus Challenge Programme.

Under the programme, the NGO completed distribution of 1.08 tonnes of BRRI dhan62, BRRI dhan64 and BRRI dhan74 rice seed among 3,600 farmers for cultivation during this Boro season on 3,600 exhibition plots in four districts under Rangpur division.

Taraganj Upazila Agriculture Officer of the Department of Agriculture (DAE) Rezaul Karim attended the ceremony and distributed BRRI dhan62 rice and BRRI dhan74 rice seed among the farmers as chief guest.

With Chairman of Alampur Union Federation of RDRS Bangladesh Alema Begum in the chair, Sub-assistant Agriculture Officer of DAE Haji Md Mohsin attended the ceremony as special guest.

Agriculture Officer of RDRS Bangladesh Shamim Ahmed discussed about technologies for preparing lands, quantity of required fertilisers and agronomic managements for farming zinc-enriched BRRI dhan62 and BRRI dhan74 rice.

"Optimum consumption of zinc-enriched rice is crucial for increasing disease resistant capacity, normal growth and flourishing talents of children, reducing risks of diarrhea, malaria and pneumonia, maternal and neonatal deaths," he said.

He called upon the farmers for enhancing cultivation and consumption of the newly evolved high yielding variety zinc-enriched BRRI dhan74 that yields 7.1 tonnes of paddy per hectare in 145-147 days from seed to seed.

The chief guest called upon the farmers for expanded cultivation of zinc-enriched rice for supplementation of zinc deficiency of the children and pregnant women side by side with increasing rice production to attain national food security.

"Each kilogram of BRRI dhan74 rice contains 24.2 milligram zinc," he said and suggested for consumption of the rice to overcome deficiency of micro-nutrients like zinc, iron and vitamin-A by the poorer section of people.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)