Bangladesh did better in food production despite the adverse pandemic situation and natural disasters such as cyclones and floods, through the relentless effort of the government, said Agriculture Minister Abdur Razzak.
Informing that in the current fiscal year, rice production has increased to around 3.87 crore metric tonnes, he said, "However, we might need to import a small amount of rice if the Aman production target cannot be reached."
The minister stated this at a press briefing at the conference room of the ministry on Thursday.
"The target for planting Aman paddy was 59 lakh hectares this year. But several floods have damaged seedbeds, seedlings and standing crops in low-lying-fields," he said, adding that an effort is being made to provide the required production from the existing land.
To compensate the loss of farmers, we have aided them with free distribution of Aman seedlings and incentives, the minister informed the briefing.
We will subsidise Tk10 per kg for Boro paddy seeds to increase production in the coming season, he mentioned.
Joyfully, Aus paddy production surpassed the target. In the current 2020-21 fiscal year, Aus was planted on 13.296 lakh hectares of land, producing 34.517 lakh metric tonnes of rice, detailed the minister.
Therefore, the total area of Aus cultivation land has increased by around 2 lakh hectares and Aus production has increased by 4 lakh metric tonnes compared to that in the last year, he added.
The agriculture minister further said that to ensure family nutrition, nutrition gardens have been set up at around 1.40 lakh houses in 4398 unions at a cost of Tk36.37 crore.
Besides, 100 family gardens are being set up in each union marking Mujib Year, added Abdur Razzak.
Highlighting the ministry's efforts, the minister said, fertilisers, seeds and other agricultural equipment worth Tk17.58 crore have been distributed among 2,39,731 affected small and marginal farmers as part of the government's rehabilitation programme.
Besides, work is underway to provide free kits worth Tk75 crore for planting wheat, mustard, groundnut, sunflower, khesari, onion, chili and tomato, to 9.29 lakh affected farmers.
The minister also said that the Ministry of Agriculture will observe the 'World Food Day 2020', scheduled on Friday.
To mark the day, several programmes, including international seminars and a technical session, will be organised at Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel in Dhaka, and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will be the Chief Guest.
The theme of the day for this year is 'Grow, nourish, sustain. Together. Our actions are our future'.