Keeping the farmers’ interest and boosting of food output in mind, the government is planning to reduce the fertilizer price to help enhance the food exports and increase food grains' productivity in the country. Notably, the government did not increase any fertiliser prices in the last 11 years. Agriculture minister Md Abdur Razzak made this comment while speaking as the chief guest at an award-giving ceremony titled' 14th Citi Micro Entrepreneurship Award' sponsored by the Citi Foundation in association with the Shakti Foundation at Intercontinental Hotel in the capital on Sunday.
He said, “The price of per kg fertilizer was Tk 60 during the BNP tenure, and it was reduced to Tk 16 during the Awami League led government. Likewise, the price of per kg fertilizer of Tk 72 was reduced to Tk 22 and Tk 90 TSP fertilizer to Tk 25. We have already made a proposal to further reduce the fertilizer price”. “Not only this, the government is also aiming to increase the subsidies to provide modern agricultural equipment to all the country's farmers. The government will provide the highest 70 percent subsidies for coastal region farmers,’’ he added.
As per the government election manifesto, the country is now self-dependent, it is no more dependent on foreign aid. Once our budget was dependent on 40 percent foreign aid but it is now two percent only. The day is not far away when the country will equally stand beside the countries like Singapore, Malaysia, he further added.
“Once, the country faced a scarcity of foods but now the country is self-sufficient in food. Just a few months before we saw farmers burnt their paddy field due to the shortage of labor and fair price. However, the government’s immediate initiatives to purchase and store paddy bring smiles on farmers' faces,” said the agriculture minister.
Rokia Afzal Rahman, chairperson and managing director of the Airlines Limited and acting chairperson of the 14th CMA advisory committee chaired the program. This year 12 entrepreneurs were awarded in four categories. The awardees got a crest, a cheque, and a certificate each for their contributions to reducing poverty and creating employment.
Managing director and country officer of Citi Bangladesh N Rajashekaran, founder and executive director of Sakti Foundation Humaira Islam, executive director of Credit and Development Forum MD Abdul Awal, and micro-entrepreneurs from different districts, among others, were present at the function.