File photo of farmers harvesting crops
- The Universe Tribune News Desk: Mohammad Anarul Islam
Sheikh Hasina, PM: declared an incentive package of Tk5,000 Crore for agriculture sector
The Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina urged all citizens to cultivate every piece of land
she has stressed on the continuation of food production during the coronavirus outbreak and announced to create a incentive fund of Tk5000 crore for the agriculture sector.
She made the statement while addressing a videoconference with the concerned Deputy Commissioners (DCs) and officials of 17 districts under Khulna and Barisal divisions from her official residence, Ganabhaban, in Dhaka around 10:00am on Sunday.
She said: “Crop, flower, fruit, fish, dairy, and poultry farmers will be able to get loan from this fund at a 5% interest rate.”
The Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina warned that an acute food crisis may arise in a large scale due to the coronavirus outbreak, however, she is optimistic about managing the situation.
“We have fertile soil and will have a surplus if we can produce accordingly. The surplus can be used to help other countries or exported even,” she added.
The Prime Minister also discussed other incentives for the agriculture sector.
“Tk100 crore has been allocated to the Ministry of Agriculture for mechanization of the sector. Another Tk150 crore will be allocated for the farmers to buy seeds,” said Sheikh Hasina.
“This sector will receive Tk9000 crore as subsidy in the next fiscal year’s budget,” she added.
Earlier in the conference, she also added “We do no have any scarcity of food. We have enough to feed the whole nation. Everyone who owns even a piece of land, should cultivate it”.
“We have ordered law enforcers not to limit or restrict the movement of those who are working on fields,” she added.
The Prime Minister has urged the district administration to allow haat-bazaars (local markets) to set at least once a week, so the agriculture products are bought and sold, however, social distancing should be maintained at all times.
“Carry out the normal activities but always keep distance from each other,” she added.
The week before, she had addressed the officials of all 64 districts in the country over the coronavirus situation, giving a number of directives to handle the situation better and prevent further spread of the virus.
So far, Bangladesh has confirmed 621 cases of Covid-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, and 34 deaths. Only 39 patients have recovered in the country until now.
The fast spreading deadly disease, since it originated in China’s Wuhan city in December last year, has so far infected more than 1,780,300 people and claimed 108,828 lives worldwide, according to worldometer.