Agriculture ministry on Tuesday started distributing farming machinery in 500 upazilas of the country under its mechanisation project.
A total of 5,800 pieces of farm machinery including combined harvesters, reapers, rice transplanters and others will be distributed, said Agriculture Minister Dr Muhammad Abdur Razzaque, while inaugurating the programme through a virtual meeting, organised by the ministry.
The 'Agricultural Mechanisation Project' worth Tk 30.2 billion was approved last year following the shortage of labourers in the haor and beel areas amid the countrywide lockdown during the period.
Under the project, more than 52,000 pieces of farming machinery will be provided to farmers between financial year 2020-21 (FY'21) and FY'25.
A total of 5,800 pieces of machinery will be given to the farmers in the current FY at subsidised prices ranging from 50 to 70 per cent, said Dr Razzaque.
Farmersin the haor and coastal regions will get those at a subsidised price of maximum 70 per cent, the minister further said.
He termed the mechanisation project 'a new chapter for agriculture' in Bangladesh.
State Minister for Social Welfare Md Ashraf Ali Khan Khasru, Senior Secretary of the agriculture ministry Md Mesbahul Islam, the ministry's additional secretaries Md Abdur Rauf, Md Ruhul Amin Talukder, Md Mahbubul Islam and Md Abdul Quader, Director General of Seed Balai Krishna Hajra and Director General of the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) Md Asadullah, among others, spoke.
Above 500 agricultural officials and farmers across the country also attended the virtual meeting.
A total of 1,617 combined harvesters, 701 reapers and 184 rice transplanters will be distributed among farmers in 500 upazilas across the country this year.
Of the tools, 510 combined harvesters and 231 reapers will be distributed in the haor region for smooth harvesting of paddy this month.
Md Asadullah said as per their research, farmers could save Tk 52.71 billion annually if all the paddy of Boro season (nearly that of 4.8 million hectares) could be collected through modern harvesters.
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