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Import-dependent crops

Govt working to make country self-reliant

Published : 16 Oct 2021 10:40 PM | Updated : 17 Oct 2021 02:00 PM

The government is looking forward to be self-sufficient in other food crops which are becoming dearer over last few years.

Besides, due to its continuous efforts, Bangladesh now has positioned ‘moderate’ from ‘serious’ in terms of hunger level in Global Hunger Index (GHI) 2021.  

In the last 12.5 years, the government has been taking and implementing various agri-friendly programmes for the development of agriculture. As a result, the country has produced record amount of rice. 

Agriculture Minister Abdur Razzque while exchanging views with journalists recently said, “Despite the prevailing pandemic situation, the government’s continuous efforts has helped to increase the food production. In the fiscal year 2020-21, Boro paddy production has been more than 20 million tonnes, which is the highest in the history of the country.” 

Under the guidance of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the country has been able to continue the ongoing trend of food production in the country by tackling all natural disasters, he added. 

Director General of the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) Md Asadullah told Bangladesh Post, “We have been continuously working to increase food production. During the recent Covid-19 pandemic and natural calamity, many people said we may stumble in rice production but I want to assure you, there will be no impact of these disasters in rice production.”     

“Now, the country is self-sufficient in the production of granular food, fish, meat and eggs and have also attained self-sufficiency in milk production due to the agri-friendly policies adopted by the government,” he added.

Over the past few years, the country was facing crisis of some most essential commodities but that problem has been solved by the government. 

In order to achieve self-sufficiency in onion, the Ministry of Agriculture has been able to increase the production to seven lakh tonnes in a year. This year, the total onion production was 33 lakh tonnes.

The country is currently second in the world in jute and jackfruit production, third in paddy and vegetable production, seventh in mango and potato production, eighth in guava production, third in inland open water fish production and fifth in closed water fish production. 

In the development of agriculture, the government is providing financial assistance, incentives and loans to farmers for buying fertilizer, diesel, electricity and mechanization of agriculture. The government also distributed agricultural inputs assistance cards, helped the farmers open bank accounts at Tk 10 and introduced e-agriculture.

The government has also increased the allocation for agricultural education and research. As a result, agriculture is being transformed into commercial agriculture now.

The country is now exporting potato to many countries of the world by meeting the local demand. According to the Ministry of Agriculture, more than 10 million tonnes of high quality potatoes have been produced in the country. 

According to the State of the World Fisheries and Aquaculture 2017 report of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Bangladesh ranks 3rd in the world in fish production in inland open water and 5th in fish production in aquaculture production.

Meanwhile, the government is also putting highest importance to making a proper food gain statistics. In this regard Agriculture Minister Md Abdur Razzaque said, “We are trying to make an accurate statistics of our food production and its stock. Control and management of market is not possible without proper production data of any product.”

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