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2024-04-15 13:33:22

Bangladesh earmarks Tk 385 billion for agriculture, aiming for 10% annual growth by fiscal 2026

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Bangladesh earmarks Tk 385 billion for agriculture, aiming for 10% annual growth by fiscal 2026

The Bangladesh government has earmarked Tk 385 billion for agricultural development over the next three years, targeting an average annual growth of 10% in the sector by the 2025-26 fiscal year. 

This investment underscores agriculture's pivotal role in achieving food security and driving equitable economic growth, according to the 'Medium Term Macroeconomic Policy Statement (2023-24 to 2025-26)'.

Despite a diminishing share in GDP, agriculture remains critical for the livelihood of the majority, particularly in rural areas. To boost food production and resilience against adversities, the government's strategy includes developing high-yield and adversity-tolerant crop varieties, expanding mechanization and irrigation, and improving access to affordable inputs like seeds and fertilizers.

The policy document highlights several initiatives aimed at modernizing agriculture through technology. These include increasing the use of surface water for irrigation over groundwater to conserve resources, incorporating renewable energy solutions, and employing remote sensing for crop monitoring, reports UNB.

The government also continues to support the sector with subsidies, financial incentives, and technological innovations to foster a sustainable and self-reliant agricultural framework.

Significant contributions also come from the fisheries and livestock sub-sectors, which not only bolster GDP—2.53% and 1.91%, respectively—but also provide essential protein sources and livelihoods for over 12% of the population. Achievements in these areas include self-sufficiency in fish, meat, and egg production, with milk expected to follow. Moreover, these sectors are vital for foreign exchange earnings through exports.

Looking ahead, the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries is set to launch development projects to enhance production capacities, adopt advanced management technologies, and improve conservation efforts, particularly for young hilsa fish ('jatka').

Water resource management is another focal area, given its importance to sustainable agriculture. Initiatives are underway to improve surface water availability through the excavation of water bodies and the enhancement of coastal afforestation, aiming to secure equitable water shares from transboundary rivers.

Amid threats of substantial economic losses due to climate change—projected at a 6.8% reduction in GDP by 2030—the government has prioritized comprehensive strategies to mitigate these impacts. The Mujib Climate Prosperity Plan is designed to equip vulnerable sectors and communities with the tools to enhance resilience and stability against climate-related disruptions.

Through these multifaceted efforts, Bangladesh is taking decisive steps to not only safeguard but also advance its agricultural heritage in the face of evolving global challenges.

Bd-pratidin English/Lutful Hoque

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