Agriculture Minister Mohammad Abdur Razzak on Thursday suggested businessmen to cultivate cash crops like tomatoes, instead of getting involved in illicit businesses – including running casinos.
He came up with the remark while addressing an event on summer tomato farming at Satkhira district.
The agriculture minister said a farmer could earn Tk1 lakh in three months by growing tomatoes. "Therefore, efforts should be put in agricultural sectors, including tomato farming, rather than running casino business," Razzak said.
Responding to a question on ongoing raids on gambling establishments, the minister said, "I will suggest the people who are involved in casino business to come to villages and grow tomatoes.
"The winter crop is being cultivated round the year due to the success of the agriculturalists. This vegetable has high demand throughout the year. Apart from meeting nutritional requirements, one can make a handsome income from it," said Razzak.
Replying to another query, he said the government will not give special consideration to those with influence, while bringing a culprit to book.
The minister later visited a high-yield tomato farm. Terming summer tomato as "a feather in agriculturalists' cap", he commented summer yields will be sold at prices four to five times higher than during winter.
"And if we can export it, there is a chance to earn huge amounts of foreign currency," he concluded.