Binadhan-17 yield is at least 33 percent more than that of other varieties of Aman paddy, and the production cost is around one-third lower
Binadhan-17 is a new highly productive variety of Aman paddy invented by the Bangladesh Institute of Nuclear Agriculture. Dr Mirza Mofazzal Islam, chief scientific officer and head of the Plant Breeding Division of the institute is the brains behind the invention.
The Binadhan-17 yield is at least 33 percent more than that of other varieties of Aman paddy, and the production cost is around one-third lower. A relatively thinner paddy, Binadhan-17 is harvested one month earlier than other varieties of Aman paddy, allowing cultivation of different winter crops.
Ruhul Amin, a farmer in the Nandigram Upazila of Bogra said that on average he has produced over one thousand kilograms of dry Binadhan-17 on one bigha of land, as opposed to 620 kilograms of other varieties of Aman paddy on the same area of land.
Ruhul has been cultivating Binadhan-17 for the last two years, and has produced at least 840 kilograms of paddy per bigha after investing Tk7 to 8 thousand. The yield of other Aman paddy varieties is lower, their production costs are significantly higher. He has had to spend Tk10 to Tk12 thousand per bigha, depending on different types of land and time of cultivation.
Binadhan-17 is also eco-friendlier because it requires 30 to 40 percent less water and fertiliser, Ruhul Amid added.
Ruhul produced 1,120 kilograms of wet Aman paddy by cultivating Binadhan-17 for the first time two years ago. At that time, he used only one bigha of land for Binadhan-17.
The next year he used two bighas of land and produced two thousand kilograms of dried aman paddy. This year has further extended the cultivation to three bighas of land.
The cultivation of Binadhan-10 and other varieties of Aman paddy starts in July every year. But as they are harvested in November the cultivation of other winter crops like potatoes, mustard start late and their yields become limited.
Binadhan-17 cultivation also starts in July but its harvesting and threshing is completed by October, allowing winter crops to be planted one month earlier, much to the delight of farmers. For this reason, Ruhul says other farmers like Afsar Ali and Yunus Ali have been cultivating Binadhan-17 for the last few years. Like Ruhul, they have also found greater yield at a lower cost.
Sushanta Kumar Shanta, former mayor of Nandigram Municipality said Binadhan-17 not only brings greater yield compared to other Aman crops, but also allows additional profit from different winter crops.
Last year he made an additional profit of Tk7 lakh by planting potatoes and mustard earlier than in previous years. This was possible because the Binadhan-17 had been harvested by then.
Provided it is dried properly, Binadhan-17 can be stored for six to eight months. Furthermore, high-salt areas being an exception, it can be cultivated in almost all types of land, including hilly areas and the plains.
Dr Mirza Mofazzal Islam says that this new variety of paddy is very good for making traditional puffed rice (Muri) and 'Panta Bhaat'. The rice derived from this paddy is also nutritious because it has 24.6 percent amylose, which boosts immunity, digestion and alleviates heart and diabetes-related complications.
On average the Binadhan-17 yield is 7.5 tonnes per hectare while that of other varieties of Aman paddy is 6.8 tonnes. This new variety from the Bangladesh Institute of Nuclear Agriculture can also resist different kinds of diseases (Patapora, Khol Pocka, Kanda Pocka), and is immune to brown grasshoppers, pamri poka, galmachhi among other pests.