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Rice in Bangladesh

Rice is the staple food of about 135 million people of Bangladesh. It provides nearly 48% of rural employment, about two-third of total calorie supply and about one-half of the total protein intake of an average person in the country. Rice sector contributes one-half of the agricultural GDP and one-sixth of the national income in Bangladesh. more...

Almost all of the 13 million farm families of the country grow rice. Rice is grown on about 10.5 million hectares which has remained almost stable over the past three decades.

About 75% of the total cropped area and over 80% of the total irrigated area is planted to rice. Thus, rice plays a vital role in the livelihood of the people of Bangladesh.

Total rice production in Bangladesh was about 10.59 million tons in the year 1971 when the country's population was only about 70.88 millions. However, the country is now producing about 25.0 million tons to feed her 135 million people. This indicates that the growth of rice production was much faster than the growth of population. This increased rice production has been possible largely due to the adoption of modern rice varieties on around 66% of the rice land which contributes to about 73% of the country's total rice production.

However, there is no reason to be complacent. The population of Bangladesh is still growing by two million every year and may increase by another 30 millions over the next 20 years. Thus, Bangladesh will require about 27.26 million tons of rice for the year 2020. During this time total rice area will also shrink to 10.28 million hectares. Rice yield therefore, needs to be increased from the present 2.74 to 3.74 t/ha.

To combat the future situation we will need to consider:

  • Replacement of local varieties by modern varieties in T. aman season where possible.
  • Limited increase in modern variety boro area.
  • Replacement of the present varieties by superior inbred, hybrid and super high yielding varieties.
  • Increment of irrigation areas in both boro and T. aman season.
  • Application of superior resource management technologies.
  • The use of quality seeds.
  • Mechanization of rice cultivation particularly minimization of post harvest losses.



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