Agriculture Minister Dr Muhammad Abdur Razzaque said doubling rice productivity could help the country produce other nutritious foods for the people.
“We need to ensure food security. We want to double our food production,” he said while speaking as the chief guest at a strategy paper presentation and book unveiling programme on Wednesday.
According to the study, the rice production will increase to 6.8 crore tonnes by 2050 in Bangladesh from 3.87 crore tonnes in FY 2020-21
It put emphasis on integrated initiatives including improved variety technology, reducing existing production gaps and increase cultivation on fellow land for increasing the productivity.
It is possible to increase rice production to 4.69 crore tonnes by 2030, 5.40 crore tonnes by 2040 and 6.8 crore tonnes by 2050, according to the projection titled “Rice Vision for Bangladesh and Beyond.”
The population of the country will increase to 20 crore in 2050, it said.
“Our food production has increased with the rise of population,” Razzaque said.
The minister said, “People’s income will increase and purchasing capacity will also increase in 2050.”
“The consumption and demand for food will increase at the same time. Ensuring food security in this situation is a big challenge,” Razzaque said.
“Importance has been given to increase productivity by developed and innovating technologies as well as reducing yield gaps,” he emphasised.
The DRP strategy plan by BRRI will serve as a guideline to double rice productivity, the minister said.
“Our scientists have formulated a very beautiful, structured and precise work plan. Once we would need cooperation of foreign experts or foreign agencies to formulate such a strategy like DRP,” he said.
“It would have cost a lot. But it is a great achievement made by our agricultural scientists,” Razzaque added.
Speaking as a special guest, Dr Shamsul Alam, State Minister for Planning, said, “The plan to double the productivity of rice in the DRP is not a dream but an achievable and realistic one.”
“For the existence of the country, it is essential for the people,” he said. Md Mesbahul Islam, secretary at the Agriculture Ministry, presided over the programme while Md. Shahjahan Kabir, director general of Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI) presented the keynote paper.
The event was also attended by BARC's executive chairman Dr. Sheikh Mohammad Bakhtiar, IRRI representative in Bangladesh Dr Humnath Bhandari and Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) DG Md. Asadullah, among others.