The government’s agri-friendly policies have ensured sustainable agricultural growth

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said that as a result of the agriculture-friendly policies and plans of the present government, sustainable agricultural growth has been ensured besides achieving self-sufficiency in food production.

He said that after the formation of the government in 2009, the development of agriculture and the welfare of farmers are given utmost importance. Fertilizer Dealer Recruitment Policy-2009, National Agricultural Policy-2018, National Organic Agriculture Policy-2016, Integrated Micro Irrigation Policy-2017, National Agricultural Mechanization Policy-2020, Bangladesh Good Agricultural Practices Policy-2020 are being formulated and implemented.

He said these things in a speech given on the occasion of awarding the ‘Agricultural Person of Importance (AIP) Award-2021’ on Sunday (July 7). The Prime Minister welcomed the initiative of awarding this award as a recognition of unique contribution in the field of agriculture and congratulated all those who are getting this recognition.

The Prime Minister said, we have distributed agricultural input support cards to around 2 crore farmers. Arrangements have been made to open bank accounts for about one crore farmers at Tk 10.

He said, we have started supplying agricultural machinery with 30 percent subsidy for farm mechanization. Currently this subsidy has been increased to 50 percent and for Haor area it has been increased to 70 percent. As a result farming methods have been modernized and agricultural production has been steadily increasing. Special agricultural loans at 4 percent interest have been introduced for the production of 24 crops including pulses, oilseeds, spices and maize. The use of pesticides has been reduced. ‘Crop Zoning Map’ has been formulated to select crops suitable for soil, climate and area and increase production.

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Sheikh Hasina said that the government has taken multi-dimensional steps for the development of rural economy by elevating agriculture from the level of subsistence to a profitable and commercial occupation. We have increased crop diversification, increased use of organic fertilizers, seasonal fruit cultivation, agro-processing industries, increased use of surface water, floating vegetable farming, increased egg and milk production to meet animal feed needs, increased student linkages with agriculture and villages. We have introduced e-agriculture in agriculture. We have created Krishi Batayan to bring agricultural services to the doorsteps of farmers. Established Agricultural Call Centre, Agricultural Community Radio, Agricultural Information and Communication Centre. Agricultural information services are being delivered at the doorstep of farmers through various mobile and web applications.

The Prime Minister said that Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was the first to realize that knowledge-based modern agriculture is the first step to build a developed and prosperous golden Bangladesh. So he gave utmost importance to agriculture in the reconstruction of war-torn Bangladesh immediately after independence. He took various initiatives to modernize the agricultural system of the country. He started the agricultural revolution by providing improved agricultural inputs along with land development tax waiver up to 25 bighas. He built 100 food warehouses in 1972. On his instructions, the ‘Bangabandhu Award Fund’ was formed in 1973 for contributions in the field of agriculture. He raised the job of agriculturists to first class status.

He also said, following the footsteps of the father of the nation, the Awami League government made the country self-sufficient in food in 1996. We formulated the Agricultural Extension Policy in 1996. In recognition of this success in the fight against hunger and poverty, the World Food and Agriculture Organization awarded us the prestigious ‘Ceres’ award in 1999. But from 2001 to 2008, the country reverted to its previous food shortage and import dependence.

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister once again congratulated all the nominees for the AIP Award 2021 and wished for the overall success of the event.