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21 October, 2018 12:32:05 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 21 October, 2018 11:50:51 AM

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Plentiful rice on the plate

Bangladesh now fourth largest food grains producer as rice yield breaks all records
ANISUR RAHMAN KHAN
Plentiful rice on the plate

Bangladesh’s farmers have been able to produce record amount of rice this year, harvesting around 3.63 crore metric tonnes of the staple food against the annual demand of 2.91 crore tonnes, Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) has said. “Bangladesh has produced a surplus rice of some 71.79 lakh metric tonnes this year to ensure the country is a food-sufficient country.

Bangladesh couldn’t produce such a huge amount of rice after its independence in 1972,” Dr Md Abdus Salam, additional director (extension and coordination) of the DAE’s field wing, told The Independent yesterday.

With this production, Bangladesh has become the fourth largest food-grain-producing country, he said, adding that it would be able to export rice to different rice-consuming countries after fulfilling the local demand. In 2014, Bangladesh exported around 25,000mt coarse rice to Sri Lanka. The stocks of food-grains in the country’s government warehouses now exceed 14.90 lakh metric tonnes.

According to the DAE officials, Bangladesh has produced some 3.63 crore metric tonnes of rice against the local demand of 2.91 crore metric tonnes for its 16.64 crore people. During the same period, it has also produced 11.53 lakh metric tonnes of wheat, 38.93 lakh tonnes of maize, 1.03 crore tonnes of potatoes, 10.31 lakh tonnes of lentils (‘dal’), 9.70 lakh tonnes of oilseeds and 1.60 lakh tonnes of vegetables. In 2016, the country could produce only 2.62 lakh tonnes of food-grains locally.

According to the agriculture ministry and DAE officials, the record amount of food-grains could be produced becauseof the government’s initiative to grow three to four crops on each farmland instead of single crops. It has also taken steps to produce salinity-, drought- and drench-tolerant crops.

Regarding the success in producing such a huge amount of crops locally, Agriculture Minister Matia Chowdhury told this correspondent that the government has increased the limit of incentives, providing supports like supplies of fertilisers, seeds and fuels to the farmers for growing more crops.

In the past nine years—from the 2009¬–10 fiscal year to the 2017–18 FY, it has given support worth around Tk. 65,447 crore to the farmers as assistance. “More than 2.08 crore farmers have received such support under the government’s agriculture-friendly programmes. They have received the support through agriculture assistance cards. Thanks to such support, food-grain production is increasing in the country”, the minister added. Agronomist Dr Jahangir Alam, the vice-chancellor of the University of Global Village, said Bangladesh currently has an annual demand for 2.91 crore metric tonnes of rice for its 16.64 crore people.

As the country’s farmers are now producing more and more, the government should now turn its attention to growing nutritious food-grains to fulfill the people’s demands, he observed.


IK

 

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Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
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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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