Experts for increase of zinc- enriched rice cultivation

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RANGPUR, Dec 29, 2020 (BSS) – Experts at a training course here today called for increasing high zinc rice cultivation and its consumption to enhance immune system of people particularly children and women.

They made the call in the event on ‘Capacity Building Training for Sub-Assistant Agriculture Officials (SAAOs) of the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) held at the Training Center of RDRS Bangladesh in the city.

RDRS Bangladesh organized the training course with assistance of HarvestPlus Bangladesh and Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition with joint collaboration of DAE and Bangladesh Agriculture Development Corporation,

Senior Coordinator (Agriculture and Environment) of RDRS Bangladesh Mamunur Rashid moderated the event participated by 36 SAAOs of Taraganj and Sadar upazilas and Rangpur Metropolitan Area.

The event was arranged for imparting training to the SAAOs for popularizing cultivation of high zinc enriched varieties of BRRI dhan74 and BRRI dhan84 and disseminating farming technologies among farmers.

Deputy Director of the DAE for Rangpur Dr. Md. Sarwarul Haque attended the training course as chief guest.

Deputy Director (Seed Marketing) of BADC Md. Asaduzzaman, Taraganj Upazila Agriculture Officer Amen Khatun and Agricultural Research and Development Officer of HarvestPlus Bangladesh Ruhul Amin Mandal spoke as special guests.

Mamunur Rashid In his welcome speech said zinc deficiency thwarts physical and mental growth of children, cusses apathy to meal intake, skin disease, disease infestation, dementia, diarrhea and pneumonia.

“Intake of zinc-enriched rice also reduces infertility and increases immunity against malnutrition related diseases, including coronavirus (COVID-19) in the human body,” he said.

Ruhul Amin Mandal said HarvestPlus improves nutrition and public health by developing and promoting bio-fortified food crops that are rich in vitamins and minerals and providing global leadership on bio-fortification evidence and technology.

“Expanded cultivation and consumption of zinc-enriched rice can effectively increase disease resistant capacity, normal growth and flourish talents of children, reduce risks of diarrhea, malaria and pneumonia, maternal and neonatal deaths,” he said.

The chief guest lauded RDRS Bangladesh and HarvestPlus for promoting nutrition and public health through disseminating micro-nutrient-rich bio-fortified food crops and dissemination of bio-fortification technologies.

He called for expanding cultivation, production and consumption of bio-fortified zinc rice to meet nutrition and enhance immunity of the population against all malnutrition-related diseases including COVID-19 infection.