Govt proposes Taka 15,442 cr for agriculture sector
DHAKA, Jun 11, 2020 (BSS) – The government has proposed Taka 15,442 crore for agriculture sector which was 3.6 percent of the total budget outlay and highest allocation compared to the revised and annual budget of 2019-20 fiscal year.
” Allocation of Taka 15,442 crore has been proposed in 2020-21 fiscal year for agriculture sector which was Taka 2,485 crore more than the revised and Taka 1,389 crore than the annual budget of 2019-20 fiscal year”, according to the sector-wise budget allocation proposed by Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal at Jatiya Sangsad here today.
The government allocated Taka 14,053 crore for agriculture sector in the budget of 2019-20 while it was Taka 12,957 in the revised budget of the same fiscal year.
In the proposed agriculture budget, the operating expenditure is Taka 12,893 crore and Taka 2,544 crore for the Annual Development Programme (ADP).
The finance minister said to meet the expenditure on fertiliser and other agricultural incentives Tk. 8,000 crore has been allocated in the revised budget of FY 2019-20 and Tk. 9,500 crore has been allocated in the budget for FY 2020-21.
Regarding the agriculture sector, Kamal said that the global coronavirus pandemic has affected the agriculture sector in Bangladesh too.
He continued “The COVID-19 has disrupted imports, exports and supply chains across the globe. Hence, we will have to put the highest emphasis in addressing adverse effects on our domestic sectors.”
Various steps will need to be taken in agricultural production, marketing and different other areas to tackle the imminent challenge of food scarcity, said the finance minster.
Kamal recalled that the Prime Minister has given directives to ensure that not even an inch of land is left without farming so as to ward off any possibility of food scarcity in the aftermath of COVID-19. Ministry of Agriculture and all attached departments will take necessary steps in this regard, he added.
“Ensuring food and nutrition security for the large population in Bangladesh, and protecting the lives and livelihoods of farmers, farm labourers and relevant others engaged in the agriculture sector are the main challenges now for us given the forecast of imminent famine in the post corona world”, he said.
“We have been successful in sustaining self-sufficiency in rice production and maintaining a high growth rate in agriculture”, he said.
Elaborating the government highest priority on the agriculture sector, the finance minister said to effectively combat the effects of the novel coronavirus, “this year we will continue our interventions, such as agricultural subsidies, incentives and support cards for fertilizers-seeds and other agricultural inputs, support for agricultural rehabilitation, special agriculture credit at low interests and easy terms, etc., at the required levels.”
Besides, farmers’ subsidies on procurement of agricultural equipment used in harvesting crops will continue. The number of farmers holding agricultural input support cards currently stands at 2 crore 8 lakh 13 thousand 477, he said.
Kamal said innovation of climate-resilient crop varieties will continue in the next fiscal year by strengthening applied research. Besides, extension of crop diversification, reduction in post-harvest loss of crops, and mechanisation of farming will be reinforced, he added.
The finance minister said research activities to develop quality jute seed and to innovate diversified jute products will continue.
Kamal said : “We have taken up a project of Tk. 3,198 crore to promote farm mechanization, an allocation of Tk. 9,500 crore is made in the next fiscal year for agricultural subsidies.”