Agriculture Minister Dr Abdur Razzaque said an integrated initiative is being taken to become self-sufficient in jute seed production.
He was addressing a views-exchange meeting styled "Implementation of Roadmap for Achieving Self-Sufficiency in High Yield Jute Seed Production" at the conference room of the agriculture ministry on Thursday.
The agriculture minister said an integrated initiative will be taken involving the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Textiles and Jute and all concerned to attain self-sufficiency in jute seeds.
"We cannot depend on foreigners for jute seeds," he said.
"We will increase jute seed production. We will increase the production of jute. We will make jute cultivation profitable for the farmers of this country. Besides, we will bring back the glorious role of jute in earning foreign exchange."
Textile and Jute Minister Golam Dastagir Gazi, Secretary to the Ministry of Textiles and Jute Lokman Hossain Mia and Chairman of Bangladesh Krishi Bank and former Secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture Mohammad Nasiruzzaman were present at the meeting.
The annual demand for certified seeds at the farmer level in Bangladesh is 5,215 tonnes. Against the demand, Bangladesh Agricultural Development Corporation (BADC) supplies 775 tonnes – Tosha 515 tonnes and native 260 tonnes.
Tosha variety of jute seeds have to be imported almost entirely from India. The agriculture ministry has formulated a five-year action plan or roadmap to reduce this foreign dependence and become self-sufficient in jute seeds.
The target has been set to produce 4,500 tonnes of jute seeds in the country from fiscal 2021-22 to fiscal 2025-26.
To produce this Tosha variety of jute seeds, cultivation will be required on 8,780 hectares of land.
Textile and Jute Minister Golam Dastagir Ghazi said the production of jute seeds should be increased even with a subsidy.
He added that being dependent on others always leads to uncertainty. There is also the fear of imposing sanctions on the export of jute seeds.
The meeting was also attended by Additional Secretary (Fertiliser Management and Materials) Mahbubul Islam, Additional Secretary (Research) Kamala Ranjan Das, Additional Secretary, and Director General (Seeds) Balai Krishna Hazra, Additional Secretary of Ministry of Textiles and Jute Abul Kalam and many others.