Agriculture investment crosses Tk 60,3,77 crore in 8-yr

Agriculture Minister Begum Matia Chowdhury
Agriculture Minister Begum Matia Chowdhury
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With a view to increasing production of crops and bringing agriculture inputs to the purchasing capacity of farmers, the government has invested Taka 60,377.418 crore in the last eight years.

“The Awami League led government has invested in agriculture sector particularly for farmers under various programmes across the country to increase production of different crops,” Agriculture Minister Matia Chowdhury said on Tuesday.

With the government programmes, she said, farmers got encouragement to produce more crops and the production has increased during the tenure of the present government compared to the previous regime.

“We are giving incentives to farmers through bank accounts and cards as some of the crops got inattention,” she added.

According to data provided by the officials of Agriculture Ministry, the Awami League led government provided Taka 58,924.84 crore under rehabilitation and stimulation programmes for farmers across the country from 2008-09 to 2016-17 fiscal year.

The ministry officials said the government has brought fertilizer, electricity, diesel, sugarcane and other agricultural activities under subsidy programme for increasing production of different crops along with crops diversification.

As a result, agricultural production has been increasing gradually since the 2008-09 fiscal. Besides, the government is transferring cash and other incentives directly to the farmers through mobile banking.

With the directives of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, various initiatives have been initiated to strengthen agriculture investment, provide low interest credit and high quality seeds, ensure availability of fertilizer, distribute agricultural input assistance cards, establish agricultural processing and marketing centres and diversify crops, the officials added.

The government has disbursed Taka 60,377.4187 crore as investment in agriculture sector to meet the expenditure on fertilizer and other agricultural inputs.

The investment also raised Taka 9,000 crore in the current 2017-18 fiscal year, which was nearly Taka 3,000 crore more than the fiscal year of 2016-17. In 2016-17, the government has also allocated Taka 6,000 crore as subsidy for the sector.

The data of the ministry also stated that as many as 2, 08,13,477 farmers received agriculture assistant cards of which 1,94,74,203 are male and 13,39,274 female farmers.

Some 1,01,19,548 farmers opened their bank accounts at a cost of only Taka 10 and they deposited Taka 230 crore in their accounts.

The data also added that the government has cut nearly 50 per cent of non-urea fertiliser prices to make farmers enable to grow more rice for achieving food security and fulfill its electoral pledges.

The subsidy is helping to increase the agriculture production, reduce import of food grains, help to save the country’s foreign exchange reserves and, thus, improving the overall economy.

A total of Taka 7,500 crore was allocated under the agriculture rehabilitation and incentive programmes in the 2016-17 financial year. The government has also undertaken an initiative to give Taka 58.75 crore as incentive for 5,41,201 small and marginal farmers of 64 districts, the data further added.