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11 February, 2018 08:29:06 AM

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Matia stresses increased use of farm technology

Staff Reporter
Matia stresses increased use of farm technology

Only one per cent of farmers use mechanical equipment to plant seeds, though 90 per cent of them use mechanical ploughs to till their land, while 80 per cent employ mechanical tools for irrigation.

Besides, the irrigation command areas are not being properly maintained, as they are under private management.

Agriculture minister Matia Chowdhury made this disclosure while speaking at a seminar after inaugurating a 3-day tool fair in the city’s Krishibid Institution yesterday.

“The Bangladesh Agriculture Development Corporation (BADC) has the responsibility of looking after agriculture-related matters. But, now, certain aspects are being implemented and monitored by the private sector.

As a result, the irrigation command areas are indiscriminately installing deep tube wells, which are destroying the environmental balance of the country,” the agriculture minister said.

She said the government did not import tools that were harmful for farmers and the environment.

“We need more developed modern technology. Our machines can cut only standing crops—but it can’t cut wilted paddy. So, we need to import or locally developed such technology,” Matia Chowdhury said.

The minister hoped that the use of tools meant for planting seeds would be scaled up to 40 per cent from the present one per cent by 2021.

“We have to import farmer-friendly technology so that they are able to buy these tools at low prices. That would help further develop the agricultural sector,” she observed.

As per the agriculture mechanization strategy policy, the present government was providing 70 per cent subsidy to extend the use of farm implements, said the minister.

LGRD minister Khandker Mosharraf Hossain said around 68 per cent of the country’s people were involved in the agriculture sector, which was the backbone of any country's development.

Terming the fair as time-befitting, he said the use modern agricultural equipment and fertilizer was essential for sustainable food security.

He added, "Our arable land is decreasing at rates ranging between 0.5 to 1 per cent annually. So, the agriculture sector will have to be mechanized with modern technology to fulfil the food and nutrition demand of the country’s growing population."

According to department of agricultural extension (DAE), a total of 47,873 power tillers, 1,294 tractors, 7,558 power threshers, 2,180 reapers, 1,000 feet pumps, 500 sprayers, 1,338 seeders, 379 combined harvesters and 7 rice trans-planters were distributed among the farmers across the country.

Professor Dr M Manjurul Alam of Bangladesh Agricultural University presented the keynote paper at the seminar. 

SI

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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