File photo of Agriculture Minister Dr Muhammad Abdur Razzaque Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune
A Tk211 crore project titled has been taken up to initiate almond and coffee cultivation
Agriculture Minister Dr Md Abdur Razzaque said on Sunday that the government is working on utilizing the potential of almond and coffee cultivation in the country.
“There is a huge potential for almond and coffee cultivation in the hilly areas and northern parts of the country. We are taking integrated initiatives to exploit the potential of almonds and coffee,” he said.
A Tk211 crore project titled “Almond and Coffee Research, Development and Expansion” has been taken up to initiate almond and coffee cultivation.
The minister spoke as the chief guest at a workshop on the project at Bandarban Zilla Parishad auditorium.
He mentioned that it is possible to earn a lot of foreign currency by producing almonds and coffee in the country, as well as by processing raw almonds from abroad.
“In order to reduce the problem of processing of almonds in the country and to set up processing facilities, the tariff rate on import of raw almonds has already been reduced from about 90% to only 5%,” he added.
The minister called upon farmers and entrepreneurs to come forward in almond and coffee cultivation and processing.
He also directed the Department of Agriculture to develop improved technologies and varieties of almonds and coffee to suit the conditions of Bangladesh, and disseminate those to the farmers.
With Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) Director General Md Asadullah in the chair, the program was addressed, among others, by Senior Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture Md Mesbahul Islam, Additional Secretary Wahida Akhter, Bangladesh Agricultural Development Corporation (BADC) Chairman Dr Amitabh Sarkar, Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council (BARC) Executive Chairman Dr Sheikh Mohammad Bakhtiar, and DAE (Bandarban) Deputy Director AKM Nazmul Haque.
Earlier, the agriculture minister inspected the production of improved varieties of coffee and almond seedlings at the local Horticulture Center.