Concerted efforts to check wheat blast stressed
RAJSHAHI, Nov 10: Agricultural scientists and researchers at a workshop here called for a collective efforts of all government and non-government organisations for boosting wheat production through freeing the cash crop from blast infection ahead of next season.
They told the meeting that wheat blast, a deadly fungal disease in wheat, emerged in the country for the first time in last couple of years ago, causing significant loss in production in some districts. Average yield loss in an affected field was 25 to 30 percent, but in severely infected fields it reached up to 100 percent.
So, scientists, researchers and agriculture extension officials concerned should come forward and work together to protect the wheat farming from being affected by the deadly disease for the sake of ensuring the country's food security, they said.
They came up with the statement in the regional workshop styled "Wheat Blast Disease Management and Way Forward for Boosting Wheat Production" in Rajshahi today.
Bangladesh Wheat and Maize Research Institute (BWMRI) organised the workshop at its regional station in association with CRP and CIMMYT.
Director General of BWMRI Dr Naresh Chandra Deb Barma and Director (On-farm Wing) of Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) Dr Abdul Muid addressed the workshop as the chief and special guests respectively with BWMRI Principal Scientific Officer Dr Ilias Hossain in the chair.
Additional Director of DAE Mustafizur Rahman and its Deputy Director Monjurul Huda, BWMRI Senior Scientific Officer Dr Mahfuz Bazzaz and Project Director of Barind Multipurpose Development Authority Rafiqul Islam also spoke.
In his keynote presentation, Mostofa Ali Reja, Principal Scientific Officer of BWMRI, said wheat blast is a seed borne disease and through seed the germ can go from one place to another.
He added that they don't have any definite evidence regarding the medium through which the disease has come to Bangladesh.
In his remarks, Dr Naresh Barma called upon the scientists and experts to work together to solve the blast problem giving it a top priority and increasing wheat production in this region.