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16 December, 2017 00:00 00 AM
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Crop diversification

In today’s world, crop diversification is catchword in agriculture. A recent study revealed that it helps increase the intake of nutritious food by giving households more options to choose from food items in Bangladesh. This is clearly inspiring. Leveraging Agriculture for Nutrition in South Asia (LANSA), an international research body and BRAC, jointly conducted the study from 2010-11 to 2014-15 with 500 participating households in 12 villages of 11 districts of Bangladesh.

The findings showed that underweight population among the participants reduced by 4.5 percent over this period. Moreover, the normal weight population among the participating households increased by 2.3 percent, and the underweight male population reduced by 4.4 percent, while female population of the same category reduced by 5.3 percent. These are encouraging figures in support of crop diversification.

But is Bangladesh doing enough to achieve this? The agriculture secretary of the country at a seminar entitled 'Leveraging agriculture for nutrition in Bangladesh' on the subject in the capital has surrendered to the reality when he said that it is difficult for Bangladesh to increase the nutritional intake for the 160 million people with limited resources.

But the truth is improvement on the nutritional intake is taking place in the country. Some days ago, it was reported that Bangladesh has achieved a surplus production in fish. But for this, the country has waited for a long time. So, if Bangladesh sets its target of diversifying its crops and their growing pattern with well-charted policies, there will be time when we would be able not only to feed the growing population nutritionally, the country’s export earnings will also be increased.

In fact, since Bangladesh has limited land resources but population is booming with each passing year, we are left with little choices, but to seriously go for crop diversification. For a long time, rice has been our staple food. Over the past years wheat has encouragingly met the demand of our staple food, replacing rice.

In the recent months, as the price of rice has become record high, consumption of rather cheaper wheat flour has increased. That is why our farmers should pay their focus, with generous help from the government, to wheat cultivation. Moreover, if taken seriously, corn can also be a major source of our carbohydrate. In the perspective of Bangladesh that is severely constrained with cultivable land resources, indeed cultivation of non-rice crops should be a top priority.            

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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