75pc paddy in vulnerable areas harvested: Minister
Agriculture Minister Dr Abdur Razzaque on Wednesday said 75 percent Boro paddy in the country’s vulnerable areas, including Sunamganj, have been harvested. He disclosed the information while visiting paddy harvesting in haor areas in south Sunamganj. Boro paddy supplies more than half of the country’s total rice production throughout the year. He said coronavirus outbreak has disrupted global food production.
“Various international organisations have also predicted about food crisis or famine [in near future]. Taking note of these, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has repeatedly instructed increasing agricultural production. She is urging to cultivate crops in every inch of land,” Razzaque said. “We’re working towards that goal.” Razzaque and Planning Minister MA Mannan visited haor areas of different upazilas to encourage farmers and to see progress of Boro harvesting. The Agriculture Minister said the country’s food security will be ensured if the crop is properly harvested, reports UNB.
Razzaque said his ministry is working relentlessly. The government has made arrangement to allow workers from other districts to travel to haor areas for paddy harvesting. Besides, tools have been given to haor farmers for harvesting. “Seventy percent of the equipment cost will be borne by the government and farmer will bear the rest,” he said, adding that combined harvester and reaper machines have been brought from other areas of the country. Razzaque said farmers have harvested 65 percent paddy in the haor areas.
The agriculture minister said the government is always by the side of the farmers and workers. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has announced a grant of Tk 1 lakh from her relief fund for farmers who would be killed by lightning strike while doing agricultural work. The minister urged everyone to continue agricultural work so that production does not stop amid the coronavirus outbreak, saying that the government will provide medical assistance to anyone diagnosed with coronavirus.
Razzaque distributed two harvesters among the farmers. The two ministers also inaugurated the agricultural machinery programme at a subsidy of Tk 100 crore recently given by the Prime Minister to facilitate paddy harvesting. To facilitate paddy harvesting, various agricultural equipment including about 1,300 combine harvesters, 934 reapers, and 22 rice transplanters have been given to farmers at a total cost of Tk 200 crore, said the Agriculture Minister. Planning Minister Mannan said the government is giving great importance to health and agriculture sectors. These two sectors are complementary to each other.