‘Govt should increase agriculture subsidies’

ANM Mohibub Uz Zaman

13 June, 2019 12:00 AM printer

Experts have called upon the government to increase subsidy in the upcoming budget to commercialize the agriculture sector for boosting the rural economy and promoting sustainable agriculture in line with the SDG goals.

To help the farmers earn more profits, the government should help reduce agriculture input cost through different initiatives, said farm economist professor Golam Hafiz Kennedy.

The government should provide more subsidies on irrigation, seed, fertilizer, insecticide, machinery to reduce the production cost, he said, adding that incentive on agriculture production will help the farmers. 

He said each year the size of the budget is increasing rapidly but allocation on agriculture is not keeping up with the trend. The size of the upcoming budget is likely to rise by 18.22pc to Tk 523,190 crore.

The budgetary allocation on agriculture should be Tk 50,000 crore in the upcoming budget, Golam Hafiz Kennedy said.

The agricultural economist also said mechanization of agriculture is very important to reduce the production cost of agriculture. Allocation on agricultural mechanization should be increased to make this sector more profitable for the farmers.

The government should introduce agriculture loans for farmers to save farmers from higher interest rates charged by cooperative banks and non-government organisation, he said, adding that proper monitoring of the market system and creating a standard market system for agriculture can help ensure fair prices for the farmers.

Sources said the government is going to take different initiatives to commercialize the agriculture sector and make farming more profitable.

This year, the subsidy on agriculture is likely to Tk 9,600 crore for fertilizer, diesel and electricity on irrigation and agriculture equipment.

Of the total amount, Tk 3,000 crore will be embarked for agriculture mechanization and Tk 150 crore will be allocated for irrigation during Boro season to help reduce agriculture production cost.