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24 February, 2020 00:00 00 AM
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Domestic agricultural machinery

It is encouraging to note that an agricultural machinery market worth of Tk 10,000–12,0000 crore has developed in Bangladesh. According to a report of this newspaper yesterday, power tillers and tractors are used to plough  90 to 95 per cent of farmland here in the country. Bangladesh imports roughly 68 per cent of agro-machinery. Tractors, power tillers, reapers, shallow machines are among 200 types of farm machinery imported from India, China and Taiwan.

The number of farm labourers is dropping in the country because of overall progress in education and a rise in income. The use of machines has increased mainly to cut costs. Educated youths who have taken up farming as a profession are giving importance to automation. Automation can halve the cost of crop production.

 Due to the labour crisis, labour cost has increased remarkably.  Reluctance of the youth in joining agriculture works caused enhancing of average wage of agro-labour. Immigration of manpower from farm sector to non-farm sector has been accelerated many folds over the last few years. This has triggered crisis in the agriculture sector. Male labourers are predominant in immigration. Absence of male labourers is being steered by female labourers. This is the scenario of Bangladesh's agriculture today.   Growth of farm machinery sales is 20 per cent year-on-year.  The purchase of agricultural equipment depends on government subsidies and the financial capacity of farmers. The sale of tractors has fallen because farmers did not get a fair price for paddy in the last boro season. In the last four years, the market share for local manufacturers dropped by 15 to 20 per cent because of a government subsidy on imported agriculture machinery.

There are some 70 medium to big workshops in the country. Sales are falling because the full subsidy is going towards imported machinery, so the traders  are losing the market. Government initiative is needed to boost the production of local agro machinery. The national agricultural policy 2013 put emphasis on farm machinery manufacturing, calling for increased funding for research to increase local production. The investors and innovators in Bogra, Sylhet, Natore, Dhaka and elsewhere in the country have brought a silent revolution to farm equipment manufacturing and assembling. They should be encouraged through government policy support like cheap loans, research allocation, and market promotion.

 

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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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