In the face of coronavirus-induced global economic slowdown coupled with the growing spectre of food shortage, Bangladesh remains calm and confident in facing it mainly because of its vibrant rural economy led by agriculture. Our researchers have shown that they have the expertise to introduce high-yielding and stress-tolerant crop verities. Our farmers have also shown that they can work hard. Thanks to the farmers’ relentless efforts and government’s policy support for scientific advancement in agricultural sector, Bangladesh has significantly boosted crop production.
In fact the government did a commendable job by giving colossal amount of subsidy not only in fertiliser but also in other inputs like seeds, electricity, insecticide, and mechanisation. This year’s budget provides 5.3 per cent of total outlay to agriculture with highest subsidy of BDT 9,501 crore in recent years. In addition, a huge project of BDT 3,198 crore has been allocated for incentivising mechanisation. Another fund of BDT 200 crore has been created for supply of seeds and farm mechanisation. A robust stimulus package of Taka five thousand crore has been announced by the government to provide low-cost credit to the farmers. Besides, there are a host of programmes to support agriculture, farmers and small entrepreneurs.The government has also been consistently investing in research and development of climate-resilient seed varieties and as many as 109 of them have already been developed by our agricultural scientists over the last decade.
It is because of this focused support from the government in general and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in particular that Bangladesh has emerged as a climate resilient vibrant country with spectacular success in various fields of agricultural production. As a result Bangladesh has been able to secure the positions of 10th largest grain producer, 3rd largest rice and vegetable producer, 3rd largest fish producer and 7th largest mango producer of the world.
Our agriculture sector has indeed flourished, thanks to the unprecedented policy support to the sector by the government of Sheikh Hasina. Now with continued policy support and massive investment, the sector, no doubt, will go from strength to strength.