Tk 6.5cr govt incentive to promote maize farming
The government yesterday declared a Tk 6.5 crore incentive package for 50,000 small and marginal farmers of 11 districts to promote maize farming this winter.
Each farmer will get three kilogrammes (kg) of homegrown hybrid seeds and 50 kg of fertiliser (equal volumes of muriate of potash and diammonium phosphate) to cultivate mainly char areas.
Agriculture Minister Matia Chowdhury announced the initiative at a press briefing in the ministry. This is the first government incentive for maize cultivation.
“Demand for maize is increasing day by day in Bangladesh. Maize is used to make flour and feed for fish and cattle while the plants are dried to be used as fuel,” she said.
In addition, growing maize is more economical than “boro” (rice) cultivation as it requires less water and yields more per acre.
Each acre of maize cultivation requires Tk 20,000 and yields over four tonnes. Rice, however, requires Tk 33,000 per acre but yields only two tonnes, said agriculture ministry officials.
“Maize requires irrigation only twice or thrice and sometimes not at all if there is rain on time. Unlike wheat, maize can be cultivated in rainy and winter seasons,” said Matia.
The ministry officials said Bangladesh's current annual wheat production came down to 10 lakh tonnes while 38 lakh tonnes has to be imported.
Maize production, however, is 15.52 lakh tonnes and over four lakh tonnes are imported. The government targeted to produce 16.50 lakh tonnes of maize on 2.4 lakh hectares of land this year, they added.
Matia said they are expecting an additional 31,000 tonnes of maize from 7,143 hectares this winter.
The 11 districts are Nilphamari, Rangpur, Kurigram, Gaibandha, Lalmonirhat, Pirojpur, Barguna, Bhola, Jhalakathi, Noakhali and Barisal.