Government bets big on agriculture to reshape rural economy

The allocation for the agricultural sector in the next budget is expected to see a significant increase as the government has taken various initiatives for this vital sector to ensure food security, increase farmers’ incomes and create jobs and thus improve the way of life of the people. rural poor. .

Total spending in this sector is expected to increase by an average of 10% per year to Tk 37,707 crore in fiscal year 2023-24, according to a budget document obtained by UNB.

The allocation for this sector in the current fiscal year 2021-22 is Tk 31,912 crore while the projection for the next fiscal year 2022-23 is Tk 34,426 crore.

The allocation was Tk 23,917 crore, Tk 21,977 crore and Tk 29,725 crore in fiscal years 2018-19, 2019-20 and 2020-21 respectively.

This agricultural sector covers the activities of the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock, the Ministry of the Environment and Forests, the Ministry of Lands and the Ministry of Water Resources.

The document states that agriculture is one of the government’s priority sectors, as it plays a leading role in advancing the growth of the economy by improving productivity and employment opportunities.

“So there was an urgent need to fight against the harmful effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on agriculture. “

According to the document, the share of agriculture in GDP in Bangladesh is currently over 13%, and it is the main source of income and employment for rural people, especially the poor segment.

To achieve the SDGs and targets of Vision 2041, the eighth five-year plan and the 2018 national agricultural policy, the government has implemented various programs or projects by innovating and adopting appropriate technology and modern marketing techniques for the poverty reduction and food security.

In the medium term, says the official document, the Ministry of Agriculture has planned to implement several development activities aimed at increasing environmentally friendly and profitable agricultural technologies, strengthening the mechanization of agriculture, increasing the use of renewable energies and agricultural land, to ensure the empowerment of women. , the introduction of ICT in agriculture and familiarization with genetically modified technologies.

In addition, the document says, the government has declared a number of stimulus packages and incentives to enable this sector to overcome the adverse effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

To improve agricultural production and increase agricultural productivity, the government provided cash grants in the amount of Tk 9,500 crore.

To facilitate agricultural mechanization, the government took on a Tk 3,020 crore project that began implementation in fiscal year 2020-21, the document says.

Farmers get agricultural machinery at a subsidized rate of 50-70% of the actual selling price of such machinery.

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