File photo of Agriculture Minister Dr Muhammad Abdur Razzaque Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune
Ecnec approved the Tk438 crore project in March
Agriculture Minister Dr Muhammad Abdur Razzaque on Tuesday said the “Paribarik Pushti Bagan” project is being implemented to bring fallow lands under cultivation as per the directives of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to address the food crisis amid the pandemic situation and keep the rural economy afloat.
“About 500,000 Pushti Bagan (nutrition garden) will be set up through this project for Tk438 crore. If the project is implemented successfully, it will increase food production as well as meet the needs of family vegetables and nutrition,” the minister said while speaking as the chief guest at an awareness workshop, “Establishing Paribarik Pushti Bagan in Uncultivated Fallen Lands and Homestays”, at Brac auditorium in the capital, said a press release.
Directing senior officials of the ministry and the Department of Agricultural Extension to monitor the smooth implementation of the project, the minister said: “After independence, our total budget was only Tk786 crore. Today, a project of Tk438 crore has been started to set up nutrition gardens in the backyard.”
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is giving utmost importance to increasing food production and food security even during the epidemic, Abdur Razzaque said.
He said about 141,000 Pushti Bagan had been set up in 4,431 unions across the country last year at a cost of Tk36.37 crore before the project was taken up.
In March this year, the Ecnec approved a Tk438 crore project to set up Paribarik Pushti Bagan in uncultivated fallow lands and backyards. The three-year project is being implemented in all upazilas of the country.
Under the project, vegetables, fruits and spices will be cultivated in 100 unused pieces of lands of each union and municipality. If the project is implemented properly, quality vegetables, spices and seasonal fruits will be produced.
The produced crops will meet the nutritional needs of families as well as increase the income of farmers. By involving farmers in income generating activities through community based vermicompost production, it will help in transforming farmers at the rural level into a skilled population.
Ministry of Agriculture Senior Secretary Md Mesbahul Islam was present as the special guest at the workshop.
Director General of the Department of Agricultural Extension Md Asadullah presided over the function, while Agriculture Ministry Additional Secretary (PPC) Md Ruhul Amin Talukder, Additional Secretary (Planning) Dr Md Abdur Rauf, BRC Executive Chairman Sheikh Md Bakhtiyar and Project Director Md Maidur Rahman also spoke, among others.