Saline lands in the country's southern and coastal areas are now growing two or three crops instead of one every year, Agriculture Minister Dr Mohamamd Abdur Razzaque said on Sunday.
The development of advanced salinity-tolerant paddies, pulses, watermelon, potato, corn, sunflower, and barley has led to this diversification, said the minister speaking at a programme in Dumuria of Khulna.
He visited the areas and inspected the cultivation of pre-season beans, watermelons, and chillies in the upazila's Gher-er Ail on the day.
Razzaque said the varieties [of crops] and production technology developed are being rapidly distributed to all farmers in the vast coastal areas and a roadmap is being prepared for this purpose.
"If farmers grow these crops, a new agricultural revolution will take place in the saline areas of the south," he said.
The minister continued, "Coastal areas comprise about 25% of the country. Due to salinity, previously only one crop— Amon paddy— could be cultivated in these lands which would remain fallow after the paddy harvest. The government is working on assisting in growing two or three crops in these extreme and adverse environments."
It is taking an initiative to dredge or re-excavate over 600 canals to alleviate the irrigation crisis in Khulna and Bagherhat, said the agriculture minister.