Agriculture Ministry Secretary Md Mesbahul Islam, on Friday, emphasised the need for further reducing the production cost of crops, including paddy, at the farmer level.
Reducing the production cost and the difference in yield will bring a huge change to overall agricultural production, through which farmers will benefit more, he said.
He was addressing a workshop titled "Measures Needed to Increase Boro Paddy Yield in the Rangpur Region" organised by the Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI), Rangpur and Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE), Rangpur at the BRAC Learning Centre auditorium in Rangpur, read a press release.
Secretary Mesbahul Islam said a rapid expansion of new varieties and technologies as well as training for farmers will increase the yield and productivity of paddy.
"We have achieved self-sufficiency in whole-grain production, we need to maintain it as well as increase the productivity of other crops," he said.
This year, the government is subsidising Boro seeds at Tk10 per kilogramme. If necessary, seeds of the new variety paddy will have to be distributed free of cost, the agriculture secretary added.
He called for strengthening the DAE's network with research institutes for the rapid expansion of new varieties and technologies among farmers.
BRRI Chief Scientific Officer and Head of Plant Breeding Department Dr Khandaker Md Iftekharudaula and DAE Rangpur Region Acting Additional Director Md Moniruzzaman presented the keynote papers at the workshop on behalf of their respective offices.
BRRI Director General (DG) Dr Mohammad Shahjahan Kabir presided over the programme.
Speaking on the occasion, Shahjahan Kabir said BRRI is a longtime associate of the Department of Agricultural Extension.
"BRRI invents varieties and technology; on the other hand, the DAE takes them into the field. Therefore, we need to strengthen our relationship," he added.
He asked the agriculture officials to contact BRRI directly for new varieties of seeds.
DAE former Director General Md Abdul Mueed, BRRI Director (Administration) Dr Krishna Pada Haldar and DAE Acting Director (Field Wing) Mahfuz Hossain Mirdah also attended the workshop.