Covid-19: Bangladesh Govt to focus on agriculture to accelerate economic recovery

The government is going to focus on agriculture as one of its prioritised sectors under a 2020-2023 mid-term plan in an effort to bring the Covid-hit national economy back on track fast.

According to a government document, the allocation in agriculture sector till 2022-23 fiscal starting from the running 2020-21 fiscal will go up to Tk 941.81 billion.

Of the total amount, the allocation for this fiscal has been fixed at Tk 270.18 billion while that for 2021-22 and 2022-23 fiscal years at Tk 320.07 billion and Tk 351.57 billion respectively.

The allocations for 2017-18, 2018-19 and 2019-20 fiscal years were Tk 191.26 billion, Tk 250.62 billion and Tk 299.80 billion respectively.

The document says the agriculture, which is contributing more than 13 percent to GDP, is playing an important role in bringing the economic prosperity to rural people through creating job opportunities and boosting productivity.

The government has taken various steps aiming to ensure food security, income and employment opportunities so that the lifestyle of rural people could be improved.

The document says there are also initiatives for implementing various development plans like increasing the use of environment-friendly and cost-effective agricultural technology, mechanisation of agriculture, enhancing renewable energy and expanding agricultural lands, ensuring women empowerment in agricultural activities, use of information technology in the agriculture and popularisation of hereditary science-controlled technology.

Currently, the government is providing 50 percent subsidy for procuring modern agricultural machinery, 20 percent cash incentive for the exports of agricultural product and providing loans to farmers at the lowest interest rate.

The government has already announced various packages for facing the adverse impacts of COVID-19 in the agriculture sector.

The document mentions that the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock is implementing various development projects to ensure safe, adequate and hygienic animal protein.

During the 2020-2023 period, the document says tenure priority will be given on increasing the animal protein and upgrading its species.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Water Resources will put the highest emphasis on excavation and re-excavation of rivers, canals, construction and maintenance of infrastructures, and development of haors.

As per the Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100, steps have been taken for re-excavating small rivers, canals and ponds. In the meantime, another initiative has been taken for establishing Climate Smart Integrated Coastal Resources Management Database.

The government has also given top priority to face the climate change for the sake of present and future generations through ensuring sustainable environment and desired afforestation, according to the document.

It will publish updated edition of Climate Fiscal Framework according to the sustainable development goal and Delta Plan 2100.

Various projects are being implemented for the adaptation and mitigation to face the climate change, decrease environment pollution, development of biodiversity and increase mangrove forests in coastal belts of the country.

More importantly, the document says, the government has fixed a target for creating mangrove forests of 18,000 acres during the period for the preservation of the wildlife.

:UNB