Special allocation of funds in the upcoming budget is essential so permanent embankments could be built for saving agricultural land in coastal areas, said different farmer organisations yesterday.
The organisations also urged formation of a “National Price Commission” to ensure fair price for their agricultural products.
The call was made at a press conference titled “We Demand Fair Price Commission for Agriculture Production: Permanent Embankment is Must to Save Coastal Agricultural Land” in the capital's Jatiya Press Club, jointly organised by 12 local and national farmer organisations.
The organisers are Coastal Farmers' Association, Bangladesh Fish Workers Alliance, Bangladesh Agricultural Farm Labour Federation, National Women Farmers Association, Bangladesh Adibasi Samity, Haor Farmers and Fishers Alliance, Gram Labour Resource Centre, Nolchira Pani Unnayan Samity, Dighon CIG, Kendriyo Krishak Moitree, Bangladesh Farmers' Forum and COAST Trust.
Even though the size of the national budget is growing every year, allocation for agriculture in it is not growing accordingly, the speakers observed during the programme that was moderated by Mustafa Kamal Akand of COAST Trust.
Mujibul Haque Munir, secretariat
coordinator of Bangladesh Farmers' Forum, said since 46 percent of the country's total labour force are engaged in agriculture and the country's food security depends on the sector, a minimum of 20 percent of the national budget should be allocated for agriculture sector, Mujibul said.
The national budget in 2017-18 was increased about 30 percent in comparison with that in 2016-17. But allocation for agriculture in 2017-18 was reduced by 0.81 percent.
Mohammad Shahabuddin, secretary of Coastal Farmers' Association, urged the government to reform its present system of paddy collection.
Abdul Majid, secretary of Bangladesh Agricultural Farm Labour Federation, and Samsuzzaman Khokon, chief of Gram Unnayan Sangstha, also spoke among others.