One and a half months on, govt yet to set production targets

Dhaka,  Sat,  23 September 2017
Published : 28 Nov 2016, 21:12:28

One and a half months on, govt yet to set production targets

Rabi cropping season
One and a half months on, govt yet to set production targets
Yasir Wardad

The government is yet to prepare the national production targets for the ongoing Rabi cropping season although one and a half months have already elapsed.

Sources concerned say the mismanagement this time has caused difficulties to the local agri officials to provide farmers with timely services.

The field-level officials of the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) and experts alike have expressed their concern in this regard, saying - this might affect the process of cultivation in absence of a concrete production target for two dozens of crops.

Agronomists have categorised the country's agricultural seasons as Kharip-1, Kharip-2 and Rabi.

The Rabi season (the English meaning of which is winter) is counted from mid-October to mid-March that facilitates more than 60 per cent of crops the country produces.

Country's major cereal Boro (cultivation), wheat, maize, vegetables, pulses, oil seeds, onion, garlic and potato are among those agri items produced during the season.

The local extension offices usually get national production targets from the Food Crops Wing under the DAE in the first week of October, officials concerned said.

Md Ahsan Habib, an Assistant Upazila Agriculture Officer at the DAE in Kurigram said they were yet to get the seasonal output target this time.

"The district witnessed heavy floods this year, which dampened soil, damaged Aman and other seasonal crops," he told the FE.

"We should have clear knowledge about the government's approach towards 'Boro cultivation' this year as land meant for the major crops witnessed a notable decline in the previous year," he said.

As we didn't get the national targets as of now, we are still waiting to give instructions to the farmers for producing a suitable crop, he said.

Md Nurul Islam, an upazila Agriculture Officer at the DAE in Jhenaidah said it takes years to motivate the farmers in his areas for wheat cultivation.

Last year, he noted, the wheat farmers witnessed a crop loss following that attack of a deadly fungus.

"We have been informed by the DAE Head Office to refrain farmers from cultivating wheat this year," he said.

It is not that farmers always sit idle for the written output target of the DAE, but they have faith in and respect for the agriculture officials which ultimately help increase production, he said.

"Now in absence of a fixed target for crop production this season, our job has been difficult," he viewed.

For this, Mr lslam said, they were suggesting farmers to grow vegetables, Boro rice, potato, onion, pulses and oil seeds instead of wheat.

When asked, Acting Director (Crops Wing) Md Nuruzzaman said the target has been sent to the ministry for a review and approval last month.

"We hope to get it within a few days, upon which the targets will be sent to the district level soon," he said.

According to the DAE sources, the country harvested 13.48 million tonnes of Aman rice, 9.4 million tonnes of potato, 9.1 million tonnes of vegetables, 0.65 million tonnes of oil seeds, 0.35 million tonnes of pulses, 1.85 million tonnes of onion, 0.25 million tonnes of garlic and 0.172 million tonnes of ginger during the last Rabi season.
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