Farmers to get cash subsidy for irrigation
The government is going to provide the Boro farmers with money for buying diesel for irrigation in its effort to make sure that this year's Boro production target could be achieved.
The initiative, first of its kind, seeks to help the Boro farmers in cutting down their irrigation expenditures and ensure smooth production.
Starting from mid-March, the government is going to disburse Tk 750 crore as diesel subsidy, officials concerned said at a press conference yesterday.
The production target of Boro for this year is set at 1.75 crore metric tons.
A committee comprising 30 officials from agriculture ministry and led by a joint secretary is also formed for monitoring Boro production in 64 districts.
Agriculture Secretary MA Aziz and Power Secretary Fouzul Kabir Khan spoke at the press conference held at the Press Information Department (PID) auditorium.
Aziz said that the government has already started listing the Boro farmers who are in most need of the subsidy.
The field officers of agriculture department have been working in this regard, the Ministry of Agriculture sources said. A committee led by Thana Nirbahi Officer (TNO) will distribute the money among the farmers according to their needs.
Started from mid-January, the Boro season will continue until mid-April.
This year the government has set the target for cultivating Boro rice on 45 lakh hectares of land. Of the crop yield, 12,50,000 metric ton would be hybrid.
In this season, the government will need 8.38 lakh metric tons of diesel in total to meet the irrigation demands across the country. However, at the moment, the country has only 2.88 lakh metric tons, which can meet the demands of next 40 days.
For this reason, the government is going to import adequate diesel, the officials said at the press conference.
Power Secretary Fouzul Kabir Khan said that during the peak Boro season, shops and markets would be asked to close down by 8:00pm so that the farmers can utilise the electricity for irrigation.
At present, there are 11,55,436 diesel-run and 1,70,921 electricity-run pumps across the country.
About the fertiliser situation, Agriculture Secretary MA Aziz said that there is nothing to worry, as there is enough stock of fertiliser.
He also mentioned that the government has already appointed 14,000 dealers across the country for distributing fertiliser.