4,300 new ponds to raise fish production

Tk 35,000 incentive for each owner

The government will excavate a pond or water body in all 4,300 unions under 464 upazilas in 61 districts aiming a large-scale production of the country’s fisheries resources.

Officials at the Fisheries Department said, a total of Tk 395.97 crore will be spent to implement the project across the country, excluding the three hill tracts districts of Chattogram division.

These initiatives are, in fact, taken under a project for the development of the fisheries and livestock sector alongside the increasing of food production of the agricultural sector.

According to the fisheries officials, fish species like of Pabda, Shrimp and Tengra will mainly be raised in newly-excavated water bodies with fish farmers would be trained up with modern technologies and methods to boost up the production
Each water body owner will get a nonrefundable fund of Tk 35,000 for firming. Of the total, Tk 10,000 will be for purchasing fish fries, Tk 10,000 for feeds and the rest Tk 15,000 for maintaining the water body, they said.

Fisheries officials, however, hinted at raising the project cost and extending its implementation period since 873 more unions under 109 upazilas are still left out of the purview of the initiative.

Project Director Mohammad Habibur Rahman said the fish production in the country already has been increased as the government has taken various initiatives in this regard earlier.

Earlier, the government took multiple-track initiatives to boost the agriculture sector to prevent the food scarcity in the aftermath of the global coronavirus pandemic, sources said.

Under the initiatives, all the uncultivated land will be utilized and measures will be taken to cultivate crops on the land for at least four times.

Production of fruits, vegetables and oil-type crops as well as cattle farming will also be strengthened with the application of state-of-art technologies in agriculture, according to officials, at the Ministry of Agriculture and the Department of Agricultural Expansion.

According to the United Nations and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), many countries may face economic and food crisis in the post-pandemic period.

Taking everything into consideration, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina earlier ordered the ministers concerned including agriculture, land, food, livestock, and fisheries not to leave a single inch of land uncultivated and boost up the agriculture production.

The government also took initiatives to provide the farmers with agro-machineries and materials at a half of the real prices. Farmers in Haor and saline-hit areas may get it at 70 percent of the actual cost.

Officials concerned said, machineries and materials will be provided on the basis of farmers’ needs and demands.
Tractors, power tillers, threshers, rippers and combined harvesters are among the machineries, to be provided to the farmers in all but three hill tracts districts, they added.

According to sources, a Tk 3,000 crore project will be taken soon for the welfare of the farmers in line with these initiatives.
Sources at the DEA said, a farmer would get a combined harvester worth Tk 28 lakh at a half of the price.
Around 50,000 combined harvesters will be provided to the farmers enlisted with local agriculture offices, the sources added.