Plan to raise cotton production to 20 lakh bales by 2041

The government is planning to raise cotton production up to 20 lakh bales by enhancing acreage and per unit production of the crop as the country is now the second largest raw cotton importer in the world, BSS reports.

“The Cotton Development Board (CDB), an autonomous body and responsible for the cotton industry of Bangladesh, is working to improve the target of raw cotton production by 2041 as country’s annual production is only 1.71 lakh bales,” according to CDB’s statistics presented at the international webinar on Thursday night marking the World Cotton Day.

Agriculture Minister Dr M Abdur Razzaque spoke the function as the chief guest with CDB’s Executive Director M Farid Uddin in the chair.

Bangladesh has a scope to achieve the target by improving cotton production acreage up to two lakh hectares which is now only 44,000 hectares and raising per hectare production up to 10 bales instead of 6.15 bales, annually imports some 71 lakh bales cotton from abroad at a cost of over Taka 30,000 crore. “The government has strengthened the cotton development board by equipping it with skilled manpower and setting up laboratory facilities with a target to raise the production of the staple fiber,” said the agriculture minister as the government is giving importance on cotton production. International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC)’s Executive Director Kai Hughes, FAO representative in Bangladesh Robert D Simpson, Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council (BARC) Executive Chairman SM Bakhtiar, Professor Al Sayeed Negom from Cotton Research Institute in Egypt and ICAC’s Head of Information Keshob Kanti, among others, spoke on the occasion.

The CDB, which was first formed by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on December 14 in 1972, is working to enhance cotton cultivation on agro-forest land, saline, char and hilly areas across the country.