Agriculture Minister and Awami League presidium member Dr Md Abdur Razzaque said that fair agricultural credit management is very important to increase food production and fully utilize the potential of agriculture. Many young entrepreneurs coming forward in commercial agriculture need loans. Many times farmers take loans from NGOs or non-formal sector at high interest rates. Therefore, farmers should be given loans on easy terms, at low interest, without collateral and without harassment. Banks should come forward to implement this issue.
The minister said these things in a discussion meeting on ensuring safe and nutritious food at the BARC auditorium in Khamarbari in Dhaka on Wednesday morning. The event was organized by Bisafe Foundation.
The minister said that the current government is giving 50%-70% subsidy on agricultural mechanization. Even then, farmers have to pay Tk 10-14 lakh depending on the location to buy a combine harvester. Even with the subsidy, many farmers cannot afford to buy a harvester with that much money. Banks and financial institutions should come forward here and give loans to farmers.
The minister directed the officials of the bank and agriculture department to sit together and coordinate to solve the problem of agricultural credit distribution at the field level.
The minister said that the present government is continuing its efforts to ensure nutritious food for all. Meanwhile, the production and availability of nutritious food has greatly increased. But many people have low purchasing power, they still cannot buy enough nutritious food with their limited income. In this case, people's income should be increased, investment should be made in agro processing, employment should be increased. We are working on purpose.
Bisafe Foundation President Zainal Abedin, former Agriculture Secretary Anwar Farooq and others spoke on the occasion.