The Cotton Development Board (CDB) under the Ministry of Agriculture has set a target of producing two million bales of cotton in the country by 2041.
CDB Executive Director Md Farid Uddin said at an international webinar on the occasion of World Cotton Day 2020 on Thursday (October 8) night that this goal can be achieved by cultivating cotton in only 2 lakh hectares of land, so the average production per hectare should be increased to 10 bales.
He said the average production per hectare in Bangladesh in the last fiscal year was 6.15 bales, while the average production per hectare in the world's top cotton-producing countries is above 10 bales.
Discussants at the webinar said that in FY2019-20 cotton was cultivated in 44,000 hectares of land in Bangladesh and the production was 1.71 lakh bales. Cotton production in the country is increasing due to the recent innovation and cultivation of hybrid varieties of cotton by the CDB.
Bangladesh has to import a huge amount of cotton every year. In FY2019-20, 71 lakh bales of cotton had to be imported at a cost of around Tk30,000 crore, they said.
Agriculture Minister Md Abdur Razzak said, "The government is giving great importance on cotton production. The government is strengthening the Cotton Development Board in all respects. Recently, the construction work of the CDC building has started."
"The government is setting up physical infrastructure, equipment, laboratories and recruiting skilled manpower so that the production of cotton can be accelerated and the target can be achieved by inventing new varieties suitable for the climate of Bangladesh," he added.
Kai Hughes, executive director of the International Cotton Advisory Committee; Robert D, representative for Bangladesh, Food and Agriculture Organization; Simpson, SM Bakhtiyar, executive chairman, Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council participated in the webinar among others.