Promoting Zinc-Enriched Rice to Combat Nutritional Deficiency

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Promoting Zinc-Enriched Rice to Combat Nutritional Deficiency

Speakers at a workshop on Wednesday emphasized the importance of large-scale farming of zinc-enriched rice to address zinc deficiency and promote public health.

“Zinc is an essential mineral for various bodily functions, including immune system support, wound healing, blood clotting, thyroid function, and the senses of taste and smell,” the speakers noted. “It also supports normal growth and development during pregnancy, childhood, and adolescence.”

The comments were made during a district-level coordination workshop on the promotion of biofortified zinc rice procurement in the Boro season. The event was held at the conference room of the deputy director (DD) of the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) at Khamarbari.

The Food Department and The Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) organized the event in collaboration with the DAE. Additional DD of the DAE Rostam Ali attended as the chief guest, while Project Manager of GAIN Ahmed Shihab Zaman spoke as the special guest. The session was presided over by Assistant Controller of Food Shakib Rezwan.

Notable attendees included Sadullapur Upazila Agriculture Officer Matiul Alam, Saghata Upazila Agriculture Officer Md. Sadequzzaman, journalist Sarker Mohammad Shahiduzzaman, zinc paddy grower Younus Ali Sarder, and miller Abdul Bari. The meeting was moderated by Saghata Upazila Food Controller Mamunur Rashid.

The speakers underscored the nutritional benefits of zinc-enriched rice and stressed the need to motivate farmers to cultivate these varieties to improve both their economic standing and the nation’s health.

Dr. Munir Uddin, a GAIN consultant, presented various zinc-enriched rice varieties such as BRRI Dhan 72, BRRI Dhan 74, BRRI Dhan 84, Bangabandhu Dhan 100, and Bangabandhu Dhan 102 for Boro season farming.

Assistant Controller of Food Shakib Rezwan announced that a total of 13,800 tonnes of rice would be procured through 12 purchasing centers at a rate of Taka 1280 per maund (40 kg) during the current Boro season, with 690 tonnes specifically being zinc-enriched rice.

He called for the cooperation of all stakeholders to ensure the success of the zinc rice procurement drive this season.

Approximately 50 participants, including farmers, millers, food staff, sub-assistant agriculture officers, journalists, and upazila agriculture officers, attended the meeting.

Yasir Monon
Yasir Monon
Online Editor, Business Mirror

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