Tuesday, 27 September, 2022

Action plan underway to meet 40pc edible oil demand locally: Dr Razzaque

Agriculture Minister Dr M Abdur Razzaque today said the government is implementing action plan to meet at least 40 percent demand of edible oil locally as local oil production now hovers only 2 lakh tonnes  against 20 lakh tonnes of our annual demand.

“The Agriculture Ministry is implementing some sort of definite action plan to meet 40 percent edible oil demand locally  in next 3-4 years”, said the minister.

The agriculture minister came up with the expectation while addressing a seminar at a city hotel this morning.

Bangladeshis consume 20 lakh tonnes of edible oil a year, while the local production hovers around only around 2 lakh tonnes. The imported 18 lakh tonnes of edible oil incorporate 46% soybean and 53% palm oil.

Expressing his grave concern over agricultural credit, Dr Razzaque, also ruling Awami League presidium member,  said the government is now providing credit to the farmers with 4 percent interest.  He said that but in most of the cases, the farmers face difficulties in fulfilling terms and condition in getting loans.

Krishi Bank Managing Director Ismail Hossain, Media personality Shaikh Siraj, Financial Institutions Division Additional Secretary Abdullah Harun Pasha, Krishibid Awlad Hossen, Dhaka University Banking and Insurance Division Prof Hasina Sheikh, former Managing Director of Bank Asia Arfan Ali, Managing Director of Bangladesh Finance Kaiser Hamid, among others, spoke on the occasion.

On the requirement of insurance for the livestock sector, the minister said “Insurance is very much needed for the livestock.”

Reiterating importance of financial inclusion, credit and investment in the livestock sector, the discussants said the perspective of the Bankers should be changed in case of farm credit disbursement as most of the banks so far did not open their branches at the rural level.

On the other hand, micro financial institutions (MFIs) and NGOs usually disburse credit with 20-25 percent high interest rate in the rural areas after taking less interest rate fund from the Bangladesh Bank.