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Target to raise Boro acreage by 50,000 hectares

FE REPORT | November 23, 2020 00:00:00

The government has set a target of increasing the acreage of Boro crop by 50,000 hectares this year aiming to meet production shortfall.

"We were expecting a fall in Aman output to some extent amid spells of floods during its cultivation," agriculture minister Dr Muhammad Abdur Razzaque said while speaking at a webinar on ADP (Annual Development Programme) Review organised by his ministry.

To meet the shortfall in output, he said, they have fixed a target of raising the acreage during the Boro season.

Dr Razzaque also said paddy on 54,000 hectares of land was totally damaged during the Aman season due to floods.

All agencies concerned under the agriculture ministry have been asked to use every piece of land for Boro cultivation to boost its production, he added.

The target has been fixed to bring 4.83 million hectares of land under Boro cultivation and produce 20.3 million tonnes of rice.

The minister expressed the hope that the target could be achieved as the farmers are now very encouraged in paddy cultivation thanks to its existing high prices during this Aman harvesting season.

According to the agri ministry, the Aman production target has been set at 15.5 million tonnes this year which is unlikely to be achieved due to crop loss caused by floods.

Aman harvest has begun in full swing across the country while paddy prices hit an all-time high of Tk 27-30 a kilogram considering any Aman harvesting season, according to market sources.

Prices of coarse rice are now Tk 46-52, medium Tk 48-56, finer Tk 56-72 a kg across the country, according to Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) and Department of Agricultural Marketing (DAM).

The TCB data showed that rice prices are now 13-24 per cent higher than that of a year ago.

Apart from Boro crop, the minister said, the government also put emphasis on boosting the output of other winter crops including wheat, maize, onion, pulses, mustard, potato and vegetables.

Agriculture secretary Md Mesbaul Islam, among others, took part in the webinar.

The meeting disclosed that the agriculture ministry has implemented 16.3 per cent of its ADP allocation against national average of 13 per cent.

The ministry has taken up 68 projects under the ADP budget of Tk 23.6 billion.

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