It is very delighting to note that Bangladesh, which began its journey with a yearly production of 10 million metric ton rice, is likely to end up with the yield of staggering 38.2 million metric tonnes in the current fiscal year. The agriculture sector is one of the top priority sectors of the government. A majority percentage of the workforce is engaged in this sector. The government continues to extend required support for the development of this sector and the bumper production rice is the result of the ongoing support of the government for the socio-economic development of the country.
Aush, Aman and Boro, three seasonal varieties of rice, are likely to witness the highest ever production. According to a report published in this newspaper yesterday, Aush production increased by 7.7 per cent, Aman by 9.6 per cent in 2019 and experts believe that the country may witness significant rise in Boro production this year as well. The total production of rice was all-time high since independence in the last year. So, the increasing trend continues for the second consecutive year which is an enthusiastic development in the country's agriculture.Notably, in spite of the shrinkage of cultivable lands due to the construction of homesteads and factories on arable lands and loss of lands for river erosion and for other negative impacts of climate change, Bangladesh has managed to triple its rice production. The favourable policies of the government and its farmer-friendly initiatives have made to happen this. Undoubtedly, the government incentives to rice growers, its fair rice procurement policy and the initiative to supply seeds and other inputs encouraged farmers to bring more land under rice cultivation.
The development of new varieties of rice by BRRI has helped to achieve the tremendous success in agriculture. Especially, the flood-tolerant and salinity-tolerant rice varieties have revolutionised the production of rice in low-lying and salinity-affected areas in the country. And the favourable weather condition was an added advantage.
Still, flash floods and other unfavourable weather patterns including the lower level of precipitation during monsoon and the decreasing trend of cultivable lands remain the main challenges to maintaining the growth trend in rice production.