GAIBANDHA, June 10: Speakers at a function here on Monday underscored the need for procuring zinc rice from farmers directly to help them earn economic profit and to inspire them to farm zinc varieties at a larger scale in coming seasons.
"Zinc is a mineral that is essential for the human body's normal functions and systems, including the immune system, wound healing, blood clotting, thyroid function, and the senses of taste and smell. Zinc also supports normal growth and development during the pregnancy, childhood and adolescence", they also said.
They made the comments while they were addressing a district level coordination meeting and promotional activities on Bio-fortified zinc rice procurement in Boro season, in the conference room of deputy director (DD) of the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) at Khamarbari of the town here.
Department of Food, DAE and Bangladesh Agricultural Development Corporations (BADC) jointly arranged the function in cooperation with Global Alliance for improved nutrition (GAIN).
DD of the DAE Krishibid Khorshed Alam Sarker attended the function and addressed it as the chief guest and DD of the BADC, Rangpur Masud Sultan spoke at the event as the special guest while District Controller of Food Al-Waziur Rahman presided over the meeting.
Consultant of GAIN Dr Munir Uddin as a resource person did a PowerPoint presentation on the theme and said the farmers could farm seven varieties of zinc paddy in two seasons. Of them, BRRI Dhan 62, 72 and BINA Dhan 20 could be farmed in Aman season and BRRI Dhan 74, 84 and Bangabandhu Dhan 100 and 102 in Boro season.
Zinc paddy grower Dipok kumar Dev, Journalists Abedur Rahman Swapon and Sarker Mohammad Shahiduzzaman, miller Abdul Bari and General Secretary of District Krishak League Dipok kumar paul addressed the meeting, among others, while Sadar Upazila Food Controller Abu Hena Mostafa Kamal moderated the meeting.
The speakers in their speech said as the zinc rice has the nutrition value more, they emphasized motivating farmers to cultivate zinc rice in the seasons to come to help them earn economic profit and to build healthy nation through the consumption of zinc rice.
Al Waziur Rahman said a total of 10, 651 tonnes of rice would be procured through 12 purchasing centres of the department at the rate of Tk 1200 per maund (40 kg) during the current Boro season.
Of them, 533 tonnes of zinc rice would be purchased from the farmers through the centers, he added.
He also sought whole-hearted cooperation of all the concerned to make the zinc rice procurement drive a success during the current season.
Around 50 farmers, millers, food staff, sub-assistant agriculture officers, journalists and upazila agriculture officers took part in the meeting.