Sunday, 5 December, 2021
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Immense possibility of agriculture

Immense possibility of agriculture

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The contribution of agriculture to the GDP is no doubt declining in comparison to those of industry and the service sectors. But it does not mean that this happens due to shrinkage of the farm sector itself; the phenomenon is attributable to the faster growth of the other sectors. Actually, the volume of agricultural economy has increased manifold over the five decades since independence and continues to expand thanks to wide ranging research by our agricultural scientists, hard labour of farmers and agro-workers and introduction of modern technology in cultivation. Food production has outpaced the growth of population.

Further development of the industrial sector is a must to take the national economy to the level of, first, a developing and, then, a developed country within next two decades. But, given the distinct ecology of this riparian deltaic plain and expertise of the rural people, agriculture will always remain an integral part of the economy irrespective of the level of development of other sectors. Bangladesh can never neglect agriculture. What is actually needed is a balanced growth of the economy with proportional emphasis on all sectors including agriculture. Development of industry to the neglect of agriculture will be suicidal for the country.

In addition to feeding burgeoning population, agriculture has an endless possibility of expansion. The country’s agricultural economy is already self-sufficient in certain sub-sectors and very likely to be so in others in foreseeable future. In that case, Bangladesh will have exportable surplus of agro-products. Particularly, prospect of exporting processed foods to Europe and other countries is simply enormous. But for that to happen, the country will have to adopt new technology and skills to process globally certified foods. This is what business leaders and discussants at a webinar urged for the other day.

As we said, Bangladesh is already one of the top ranking countries in the production of rice and some other items and is ready to score better. To make the fullest possible utilisation of the prospect, the country needs to make agriculture and food processing mechanised through introduction of modern technology. Efforts must be made to attract foreign investment in the food processing and preservation mechanism. Agro-product waste management can also be a field of investment. Policy reforms and extensive research are other essential factors for promoting the food processing industries.