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Food autarky

Make sure cultivation of unfarmed lands

Govt asks DCs

FE REPORT | January 26, 2023 00:00:00

The government on Wednesday asked deputy commissioners (DCs) to take an all-out initiative to bring uncultivated lands under farming in order to ensure food autarky in Bangladesh.

Agriculture minister Abdur Razzaque gave the directive at the DCs' Conference held at Osmani Memorial Auditorium in the capital, Dhaka.

He also advised them to facilitate innovation and use of modern technologies at farmers' level.

The minister, however, said the DCs suggested developing a new variety of paddy that could be harvested much before occurrence of floods in haor (wetland) areas.

The meeting discussed the establishment of a betel leaf research and training centre in Rajshahi, a mango research centre in Satkhira and a horticulture centre in Nilphamari.

It also discussed the potential of agricultural mechanisation and commercialisation and enhancement of production of cashew and coffee in hill districts.

Meanwhile, food minister Sadhan Chandra Majumder said there is no chance of any famine to happen or food crisis as the country has sufficient food-grain stocks.

"There will be no famine in Bangladesh as we have the highest-ever stock of food grains now," he told the media after attending the ongoing conference.

"We feared a famine (food crisis) before Aman harvest and during the previous drought time. But we witnessed a bumper Aman yield. The volume of procurement and supply of Aman paddy and rice are so far satisfactory."

"State silos have the highest food stocks. So, there is no chance of any famine in the country only if the Almighty wishes [it to happen]," Mr Majumder said confidently.

"We're providing food grains of an estimated 0.1-million tonnes through OMS (open market sale) to people on limited incomes monthly."

According to the minister, Boro cultivation is also going on in full swing.

"We (the government) have introduced OMS, food-friendly programme, vulnerable group feeding (VGD) and such. No worries. Everyone is fine, no chance of famine."

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