Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday said the government gives immense importance to the development of agriculture as it can take Bangladesh forward.
“We’re giving a great importance to agriculture as our agro-based economy will take us forward,” she said.
The Prime Minister said this in a video message broadcast by state-run Bangladesh Television marking the founding anniversary of Bangladesh Krishak League.
She said the government is extending all-out cooperation to farmers through marketing their products and their export. “Bangladesh is an agricultural country, and agriculture is the driving force for our development.”
Sheikh Hasina also said the government has given a special attention to industrialisation alongside the development of agriculture.
She greeted the farmers on the occasion of the founding anniversary of Bangladesh Krishak League as they produce food grains working under the scorching sun, heavy rains, and after huge sweating. “We’re living on consuming the food they produce.”
Hasina said the government always supported the farmers of the country. “We, especially Awami League, think it is our duty to do so,” she said.
She mentioned that whenever Awami League comes to power farmers do not have to suffer.
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“Because we take appropriate measurers for them.”
The PM said the government has introduced a system through Krishi Bank so that the sharecroppers can avail of collateral-free loans.
She said the government has reduced the prices of fertilizer to Tk 12, which was Tk 90 during the BNP regime.
The Prime Minister said the government has given utmost importance to research to improve the crop production in Bangladesh.
She mentioned that Awami League has given importance to agricultural research since it formed government in 1996.
Hasina said now research is going on extensively to produce new varieties of crops, vegetables, fruits and food grains and the government is providing high-yielding seeds.
“As a result, the farmers now can produce more food with little labour, they can produce rice, wheat, corn and all types of crop, and we’re creating a scope for the marketing of those,” she said.
Hasina said the government is producing high-yielding seeds through research and supplying those to the farmers. The government is also mechanising the agriculture which was the aim of the Father of the Nation, she added.
The PM said the government is providing 70% subsidy for the mechanisation of agriculture so that farmers could produce higher amount of food grains.
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“We’re taking steps for supplying high-yielding varieties of seeds and all agricultural materials to the farmers. We’re also providing subsidy for power use by farmers in their irrigation work,” she said.
Hasina said the government has taken measurers for ensuring electricity for the farmers and made solar power available or irrigation.
The PM said the government is fixing fair prices of the products that the farmers produce in addition to providing various assistances to them.
She put emphasis on preservation of food by every farmer family saying that this cannot be acceptable those who produce food cannot feed their children. “We’ve taken that steps, too.”
The Prime Minister said the government has taken steps to help the farmers affected by natural calamities and it is providing that assistance.
Hasina said the farmers who will be affected by cyclone this time will also get that kind of assistance and the government is allocating a fund to that end.
The PM said the government is providing all kinds of cooperation, including soil testing, to increase production by two times to three times.
She mentioned that the government has built information centres taking advantage of Digital Bangladesh from where a farmer can receive information about crops, soil, fertiliser and pesticide.
Hasina mentioned that even when there was a problem to harvest paddy during the Covid-19 pandemic last year, Chhatra League, Juba League, Swechhasebak League, Krishak League and Awami League leaders and activists came forward at her call and helped the farmers to take their crops in their home.
She also said the government will provide all kinds of machine, including harvester, for making harvesting easier for farmers.
Talking about the coronavirus, Hasina asked all have to follow the health guidelines and wear masks, avoid crowded places, maintain social distancing.