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22 October, 2018 00:00 00 AM
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Bumper rice production

Bumper rice production

Breaking all records since 1972, farmers in Bangladesh have produced a staggering 3.63 crore metric tonns of rice in the current year against a demand of 2.91 crore metric tonns. To the world, which once described Bangladesh as a hunger plagued, poverty-stricken country, this is the picture of a complete turnaround – the story of struggle turned into a stunning success. The rice yield this year will leave 71.79 lakh tonnes in surplus, which the country will look to export. However, this is not the first time Bangladesh, once ravaged by drought, famine and suffering, is sending rice aboard. In 2014, Bangladesh sent 25000 metric tons of coarse rice to Sri Lanka. This year, the export basket may be much bigger.

The bumper production has been made possible due to the tireless and sincere effort of the government, which gave Tk. 65,447 crore to farmers as assistance since 2009. As a result, 2.08 crore farmers received help in the form of modern cultivation techniques, high yielding seeds and top quality fertiliser.  While Bangladesh deserves to relish in rice production success, there is a need to go back in history to the early seventies, when faced with natural disaster and acute food shortage, the then Awami League government of a war ravaged country asked several countries for immediate help. At that time, many currently friendly nations turned away, others, driven by cold war dynamics attached conditions on jute exports. By the time the support came, almost one million people had perished. All throughout the 70s and the 80s, the picture of hunger was synonymous to the global perception of this country. In what can be a reversal of ill fortune, today, Bangladesh, also under the AL government, has made a bumper production of rice.

Now that Bangladesh is self-sufficient in the staple food, the focus needs to be in developing climate-friendly methods for vegetable production so that onions, chilies, and other items can be taken from local producers, instead of relying on foreign imports. The massive rice production along with impressive production of maize, lentils, potatoes, oilseeds is also a testament to how the country is moving towards progress and prosperity. Once the digital promise is taken to the remote corners, specialized agro related advice can be easily given to farmers via Internet. Bangladesh, which once appealed for food grain from others to survive, now has surplus food. Let the world know, the country is a now basket with a strong and durable bottom.

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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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