Says the President of Supreme Seed

Aman is considered a magical culture as it helped eliminate the localized food crisis known as Monga in the northern region of the country. Picture: star

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Aman is considered a magical culture as it helped eliminate the localized food crisis known as Monga in the northern region of the country. Picture: star

The government should set up a hybrid paddy research center alongside the Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI) to break the monopoly of the private sector in the seed market and increase rice production, according to Mohammad Masum, President of the Supreme Seed Company.

“Around 90% of the hybrid paddy seed market in Bangladesh is controlled by the private sector as BRRI is unable to market a competitive variety of the crop,” he said in an interview with the Daily Star.

Asked how the private sector monopoly is hurting paddy cultivation in the country, Masum said that Bangladesh lags far behind neighboring countries like India and China when it comes to cultivating strains of paddy. superior rices that have higher yields or are weather resistant.

“Thus, the government should establish a new hybrid seed research institute to challenge private growers and then ensure the profit of farmers by providing them with better varieties to grow,” he added.

“Thus, the government should establish a new hybrid seed research institute to challenge private growers and then secure the profit of farmers by providing them with better varieties for cultivation.”

For example, farmers would greatly benefit if the government provided them with disease-resistant hybrid seeds at lower cost.

He went on to say that the government has the infrastructure, logistics, land, breeders (scientists) and other facilities to advance agricultural research in the country.

“But on the other hand, we private companies have many limitations, such as shortage of land and scientists, so we cannot produce the best varieties,” Masum said.

He was speaking at the launch ceremony of Supreme Seed’s new hybrid paddy called Surovi-1 at the Momo Inn hotel in Bogura.

The new paddy variety, which yields about one maund (37 kilograms) of rice per decimal, can be grown during the boro season and is resistant to bacterial leaf blight, the company said.

Supreme Seed, which produces and sells seeds, imported the strain from its native India through Mahyco International Private Limited.

The company sold about 32,000 tons of hybrid rice seeds and 1,500 tons of inbred varieties last year.

“We also have three to four of our own hybrid varieties,” Masum said.

He then said that local seed breeders would become skilled enough to market their own hybrid varieties within the next five years, ending the need for imports.

“Despite the limitations, private companies like ACI and Ispahani are stepping up their rice research projects to commercialize their own varieties,” he added.

In response to a question on how farmers could make a decent profit from rice farming, Masum said that was why they needed high-yielding seeds.

In addition, the government must take a number of measures to ensure better profits for producers, such as setting minimum prices for rice purchased from farmers.

“It should also strengthen market surveillance so that intermediaries, mill owners and traders cannot make excessive profits at the expense of farmers,” he added.

Stakeholders and officials from Supreme Seed and Mahyco International Private Limited in India were present at the event.

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