Breaking the long tradition of preserving own variety of Aman paddy seeds the government with assistance from German multination seed company Bayer Crop Science is distributing seeds among farmers at free of cost.

The area which was brought under Aman paddy cultivation in the country last year is much bigger than that of Boro but its production is less than Boro. The reason behind this is that many low yielding varieties of Aman paddy are cultivated in the country.

Bayer Cropscience Limited Bangladesh will distribute their high yielding hybrid rice seeds and vegetable seeds free of cost among  1 lakh small and marginal farmers, said a press release of BCLB.

Bayer, with the help of the Department of Agricultural Extension, will distribute a total of 300 metric tonnes of paddy seeds in 51 districts among  50,000 farmers by November.

Bayer CropScience Limited is a joint venture between Bayer Group of Germany and Bangladesh Chemical Industries Corporation (BCIC).

The company has been working in the field of agriculture in Bangladesh for more than 35 years to provide high quality pesticides and hybrid seeds.

Agriculture Minister Dr. Abdur Razzaque said on Wednesday said cultivation of high yielding varieties of crops will be given priority to increase food production, aiming to tackle the possible food crisis due to Covid-19 pandemic.

“Food production needs to be increased to tackle possible food crisis in future. The ministry is working relentlessly towards that goal. Initiatives are being taken to increase  production in Aman and Robi seasons,” said Razzaque.

Production targets have been increased and emphasis is given on the cultivation of high yielding varieties of crops by increasing the supply of quality seeds and reducing the cultivation  of low yielding varieties , said the minister while inaugurating a free seed distribution program among farmers online.

In addition to Crop Protection, Bayer Bangladesh Limited is also contributing significantly to the hybridization of rice and the increase in productivity of rice within the country.

Besides, Bayer is a pioneer of the hybrid rice industry with the introduction of slender germplasm in the Hybrid Rice segment in Bangladesh. Bayer plays a vital role in enhancing the country’s food security and contributes to around 18% of the hybrid market in Bangladesh. Bayer is the only company which has launched Bacterial Leaf Blight (BLB) resistance variety and sub-mergence tolerant variety of rice in Bangladesh which is a major concern in the wet season. The company also has a strong rice seed pipeline featuring saline tolerance which is expected to be launched very soon in the country.

Bayer in Bangladesh is helping farmers through its unique farm advisory service, “CropClinic”. The CropClinic initiative aims to provide the latest solution for crop protection and seeds, information on produce prices, information on crop nutrition management and other relevant information to improve agricultural productivity

The local subsidiary has also been engaged in development activities and has been working together with various development agencies such as USAID, GIZ, Catalyst etc. and has participated in various projects like “Affordable Nutrition for Women”, “Agri Input Project” etc. to increase the knowledge and awareness of farming community as well as pesticide retailers regarding safe use of pesticides, ethical business practice, training on crop-pest knowledge etc.

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