The local thin-tank Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) recommended on Tuesday a one-time cash incentive of Tk 5,000 for each of the farmers to compensate for their losses incurred during this boro harvest season.
For compensating 18.2 million farmers having bank accounts, it also suggested a budgetary allocation of Tk 91 billion in the upcoming fiscal year (FY'20).
The CPD came up with the suggestions while unveiling its report on State of Bangladesh's Economy and the Budget Challenges at the CIRDAP auditorium in the city.
CPD distinguished fellow Debapriya Bhattacharya said exporters demanded a cash incentive of 5.0 per cent and the government would require additional Tk 150 billion in the upcoming fiscal year, if the demand is met.
And the overall subsidy to the export-oriented sector would reach around Tk 200 billion in the FY '20, he added.
"So, I don't see any problem with giving such cash incentives to the farmers. It will be logical and ensure equal treatment," he said.
The CPD distinguished fellow said farmers fell victim to injustice regarding fair prices of the paddy. The government did not stop import in time, did not set the rice procurement target in time and also did not monitor the market regularly.
"Such a situation of economic mismanagement is not seen in any other sector as it happens to the crop farmers. So, the farmers can raise the subsidy demand. The government should send the cash incentive to 18.2 million farmers having bank accounts," Mr Bhattacharya.
While presenting the report, CPD senior research fellow Towfiqul Islam Khan said this year's boro harvest has not been a pleasant experience for the farmers mainly because of unexpected low prices during the harvest season against higher costs of production.
Sharing its recent survey, he said the production cost increased by 7.5 per cent while sale prices declined by 24 per cent.
He said the country needs to consider two important things - increasing the productivity to reduce the cost of production and going for large-scale farming mechanisation instead of applying the traditional method of harvest.
Suggesting decentralisation of the government's procurement system, Mr Khan said the government should set up mobile 'points of sale' at the village level where the farmers can bring their paddy easily without any hassle.
The government can also organise monthly haat to procure paddy directly from the actual farmers but proper publicity will be required to inform the growers about the new platform, according to him.
At the same time, steps were needed to be taken to bust the syndicates obstructing the government's direct procurement from the farmers, he said.
CPD research director Dr Khondaker Golam Moazzem, its director (dialogue and communication division) Anisatul Fatema Yusuf and a group of its researchers were also present at the programme.
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