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Bangladesh exports 0.25m tonnes of maize this year

FE REPORT | September 25, 2019 12:00:00

Traders exported 0.25 million tonnes of maize so far this year, agriculture secretary Md Nasiruzzaman disclosed on Tuesday, thanks to a notable rise in domestic production.

He said that production of maize in the country surpassed 3.8 million tonnes this year as many potato farmers and others switched to the crop.

The production was less than 1.0 million tonnes a decade ago, he added.

The secretary said the ministry has a target to raise maize production to 10 million tonnes from the current figure within next five years.

He was inaugurating a three-day training workshop for the journalists on use of modern information and technology, organised by the Agriculture Information Services (AIS) at its auditorium in the city.

"Though we are not encouraging maize exports now as we have still a shortage, traders made the shipments amid demand from abroad," he said.

He said that the lands now engaged for tobacco cultivation will be brought under maize cultivation gradually.

However, according to Maize Association of Bangladesh, which is mainly involved in maize imports, many traders exported the item this year to India and Nepal.

The local feed mills have a demand for 4.5 million tonnes of maize annually which is increasing at a rate of 10-12 per cent year-on-year, according to the Feed Industries Association of Bangladesh (FIAB).

The secretary said the government will have to double the crop productivity to achieve the sustainable development goals (SDGs) by 2030. The government has a target to raise productivity of crops to 5.32 tonnes per hectare within the deadline as compared to 2.66 tonnes in 2016.

He said the ministry is going to enact a new policy on farm mechanisation to provide farmers with equipments at interest-free loans.

AIS director Dr Md Nurul Islam presided over the inaugural function while director general of Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute Abul Kalam Azad, Department of Agricultural Marketing (DAM) director general Md Yousuf, Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) field service wing director Chandi Das Kundu, deputy director of AIS Md Rezaul Karim also spoke, among others.

A total of 30 journalists from print, electronic and online media participated at the training workshop.

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