Agriculture Minister Md Abdur Razzaque said general people and low-income people have suffered because of the high price of rice amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
While addressing an online meeting to review the implementation of the Annual Development Project (ADP) from the conference room of the agriculture ministry on Sunday, he also said rice price was a bit higher as production was low due to floods in the last Aush and Aman seasons.
The meeting was conducted by Mesbahul Islam, senior secretary of the Agriculture ministry.
The agriculture minister said everyone assumed that the pandemic induced economic crisis would lead to an extreme food crisis in Bangladesh but that did not happen.
"The country has not faced a famine despite the Covid-19 pandemic. There has not been any extreme food crisis in the country as the production was good," he added.
Referring to various initiatives to increase rice production this year, the agriculture minister said, "We are emphasising bringing more land under cultivation and producing hybrid varieties of rice. We are providing various incentives to farmers, including seeds and fertilisers."
"As a result, Boro paddy has been cultivated in about 1,30,000 hectares more land this year than last year. Hybrid rice cultivation has increased in about 3,26,000 hectares of land."
Md Abdur Razzaque further said, "This season, we expect to produce 10-12 lakh tonnes of rice more than last year. Farmers have got a good yield and they are happy. The price of paddy is also good."
The target for Boro production this year is 2.05 crore tonnes. Last year, the production was 1.96 crore tonnes.
Participants at the meeting said that Tk2,300 crore has been allocated for 82 projects under the Ministry of Agriculture in the RADP for the current fiscal year.
As of April 2021, the implementation progress has been 59%, while the national average progress is 49%.