Agriculture ministry today begins distributing subsidised agricultural machinery among farmers across the country under the biggest ever farm mechanisation project involving Tk 3,020 crore.

The machinery would make agriculture profitable by reducing farming costs and helping the farmer in timely planting and reaping the crops, Agriculture Minister Mohammad Abdur Razzaque said while formally inaugurating the distribution in a virtual meeting held at the ministry this morning.

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The virtual meeting was attended by over 450 agriculture officials and farmers from across the country.

State Minister for Social Welfare Ashraf Ali Khan Khasru distributed the machines among the farmers by joining the virtual meeting from Netrokona.

On the inaugural day, agricultural machines will be distributed in 15 locations.

In the five-year project, a total of 51,300 pieces of machinery would be distributed at 70 percent subsidised prices in haor and coastal districts, while at 50 percent subsidised rates in other parts of the country.

Among the total, at least 5,776 pieces of machinery will be distributed in 500 upazilas during the current fiscal year. The types of machinery include 1,617 combined harvesters, 701 reapers, and 184 rice trans-planters.

Other machines include seeders, bed planters, power threshers, maize shellers, drier, potato diggers, and chips-making equipment.

The agriculture minister, in his inaugural speech, said that farm mechanisation was part of the 21-point electoral manifesto of his government, and the project implementation expresses his government’s firm determination for agricultural progress.

“Our main target is to modernise and make agriculture profitable by industrialising the farm sector and catching the growing international market of agricultural products,” the minister said.

He called upon investors for taking up processing initiatives of agricultural products.

He also emphasised the timely harvest of the Boro paddy using the harvesters and called upon social and political activists to cooperate with the farmers for ensuring timely harvest of the paddy.

DAE Director General Md Asadullah said if all the paddy can be harvested using the machines, the country’s farmers would be able to save at least Tk 5,371 crore on the costs of harvest.

The meeting was also attended by the senior secretary of agriculture ministry Md Mesbahul Islam and others.

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