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Experts: Multi-pronged innovative approach needed for food safety

Even though the government has taken several initiatives to safeguard the country’s crop production from the impacts of climate change, experts believe that more specific plans in this regard is necessary.

They said introducing climatic stress-tolerant varieties of crops is not enough as cultivable land is decreasing rapidly due to the growing population of the country.

“The state-run agricultural research bodies have developed paddy and wheat varieties which can withstand extreme climatic events, and they are getting popular among farmers. But what we also need right now is region-specific cropping pattern,” said Dr Jiban Krishna Biswas, former director general of Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI).

Region specific cropping pattern means cultivating certain crops in a region where the crops would give good yield and be tolerant of that region’s weather pattern, the veteran scientist explained.

Bangladesh has developed 27 paddy and wheat varieties that are tolerant of different effects of climate change, i.e. rising salinity in the water and soil, rising temperature, drought and rising water level, according to sources at BRRI, Bangladesh Institute of Nuclear Agriculture (BINA) and Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI).

Of them, 11 paddy varieties are salinity-tolerant, seven drought-tolerant, and four submergence-tolerant, and five wheat varieties that are temperature-tolerant, they said.

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