In an attempt to achieve self-sufficiency in jute seed production, Agriculture Minister Dr M Abdur Razzaque on Thursday said the government has fixed a target to produce around 4,500 tonnes of jute seeds in next five year as the country is now producing only 775 tonnes of jute seed against its annual demand of over 5,000 tonnes, reports BSS.
“The agriculture ministry has fixed a target to produce 4500 tonnes of jute seed by 2025-26 fiscal years,” he said in a view-exchange meeting on implementation of roadmap for achieving self-sufficiency in jute seed production at the ministry conference room in the capital Dhaka.
Under the plan, the government will produce 4,500 tonnes of jute seed locally to meet country’s annual demand of 5,215 tonnes of jute seed, according to an official release.
As part of total jute seed demand, Dr Razzaque said “Bangladesh Agricultural Development Corporation (BADC) is supplying only 775 tonnes -515 tonnes of Tosha jute seed and 260 tonnes of local jute seed.”
So, the country has to import all the necessary jute seed from neighboring India, said the minister, adding “We will be no more dependent on foreign countries for jute seed import, so we have to be raised the production of jute seed.”
Regarding innovations of genome sequencing aiming comprehensive collection of an individual ‘s genetic variation exclusively developed by the government, the agriculture minister said “Bangladesh has been able to develop a high yielding jute variety ‘ROBI-1’ by using genome sequencing method… yield of the variety is 10 to 15 % higher in compare to the Indian Jute variety.”
“If we can increase the cultivation of the newly invented jute variety (ROBI-1) at the growers level, then the country could be self-sufficient in jute seed production,” he added. Even the government will provide subsidy to make the jute cultivation profitable for the growers as most of the farmers are reluctant to cultivate jute instead of other winter crops considering jute as ‘less profitable’, the minister pointed out.
Moderated by Agriculture Secretary M Mesbahul Islam, the meeting was also attended, among others, by Textile and Jute Minister Golam Dastigir Gazi, Textile and Jute Secretary Lokman Hossen Mia and former Agriculture Secretary and Bangladesh Krishi Bank Chairman M Nasiruzzaman.