Photo: Dhaka Tribune
The foundation of Bangladesh’s economy is agriculture
The Covid-19 pandemic has hit the agricultural sector hard. This has adversely affected not merely the livelihoods of farmers, but the food security of the nation. Now, it is time to focus on using all our cultivable land -- including fallow, char, and haor lands -- to produce new and high-value crops. This move just might avert a serious crisis.
Kudos to the government for focusing on food security. We are, after all, a nation with bitter memories of famine. While, in recent years, the economy has progressed rapidly, the fear of famine is always at the back of our minds.
As such, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said the government was giving the highest importance to producing as much food as possible. This means boosting production by not leaving an inch of uncultivated land untouched.
The target of the government here is to increase crop intensity as well as crop diversity. This is achieved through a modernization of cropping patterns using agricultural technology. Alongside boosting grains, the cultivation of vegetables, fruits, and spices would also be seeing a marked increase.
The foundation of Bangladesh’s economy is agriculture, and this project, slated to be implemented by June of next year, is an ambitious one. The indirect benefits gained from stimulating agriculture would also be enormous. Through an increase in income-generating activities in rural areas, serious strides can also be made in women’s empowerment.
The government has made assurances in the past that no one should have to go hungry. With the effects of the coronavirus still unfolding though, it is hard to tell how much of a hit we will eventually take. But certainly, making sure there is enough food is a basic matter of survival, and therefore a matter of the highest priority.