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Agriculture Minister for total use of coastal area potential

Published : 13 Sep 2021 09:35 PM

Agriculture Minister Dr Md Abdur Razzaque has instructed the officials and scientists to fully utilize the potential of agricultural production in the vast coastal area of the country. He said the demand for nutritious and safe food is increasing in the country. 

If the supply of these foods is to continue, production will have to increase further and the coastal areas of the south are most likely to increase production. Everyone has to work with dedication and sincerity to make full use of this possibility.

The Agriculture Minister said this while addressing a view exchange with officials of Jashore and Khulna Region Agriculture Departments at Jashore Circuit House on Sunday night.

The minister said that where there used to be a grain crop in the previous year, now beans, untimely watermelon, chilli etc. are being cultivated there. Cultivation of these crops along with fish farming is an unimaginable achievement of agriculture.

Dr. Razzaque added that agriculture needs to address the future challenges of food production through the use of modern information technology (precision agriculture) and robots. 

At the meeting, officials and scientists highlighted the problems, possibilities and plans for agriculture in the south. There is also the issue of long-term water logging in Bhabdaha. Praising the BADC's initiative to alleviate waterlogging, State Minister for Rural Development and Cooperatives Swapan Bhattacharya said in a special guest speech that last year BADC worked on drainage with the help of pumps. As a result, water could not rise in people's houses. 

The Agriculture Minister said that BADC will work with the Water Development Board to alleviate the water shortage in Bhabdaha. Senior Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture Md Mesbahul Islam was present as a special guest at the meeting. Additional Secretary Wahida Akhter, BADC Chairman Dr. Amitabh Sarkar also spoke at the meeting.

Earlier in the afternoon, the Agriculture Minister visited summer tomato fields in Kamarali and Bakra villages of Kalaroa upazila of Satkhira district and exchanged views with farmers. Saying that they are selling tomatoes at only Tk 27 per kg, the farmers pointed out some more problems. The minister said imports from India would be stopped if necessary to ensure a fair price for tomatoes. Besides, steps are being taken to increase the storage time of fruits and vegetables including tomatoes using nuclear energy, the minister said.

Dr. Razzak further said that summer tomatoes have been cultivated in 84 hectares of land in Satkhira this year. It will be increased to 700 hectares. For this, necessary assistance including seeds and fertilizers will be provided to the farmers.

As per the local agriculture department, summer tomatoes have been cultivated in 64 hectares of land in Satkhira this year. Bari Hybrid-4 and Bari Hybrid-8 varieties of tomato cultivation involve 500 farmers and 1,500 workers. Tomatoes can be picked from the tree 2-3 times. Yield per hectare is 62-70 tons and the net profit of the farmer per bigha is from 90 thousand to 1.8 lakh.

Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute and Department of Agricultural Extension are providing seeds, saplings and pesticides to the farmers. Member of Parliament Mir Mostaq Ahmed Robi, Member of Parliament Mustafa Lutfullah, Senior Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture Md. Mesbahul Islam, Deputy Commissioner of Satkhira Md. Humayun Kabir and others were present.