PM leads by example
It seems that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's call upon citizens to cultivate each inch of land to fight the global food crisis is not just a hollow call, as she herself has utilised every inch of unused land of her official residence Gono Bhaban.
Creating a rare example, the PM almost turned the entire Gono Bhaban into a farmhouse.
Being the daughter of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Hasina, whose legacy is deeply rooted in rural Bangladesh, has been cultivating different varieties of paddy, vegetables, and fruits in the open yards of her official residence.
Besides, she has been raising birds like pigeons; farming different types of fishes such as rohu, katla, tilapia and chital; raising honey bees in the mustard field, and has also set up dairy and poultry farms of local breeds.
In her farmhouse, 46 maunds of onions were harvested yesterday, according to Gono Bhaban sources.
These onions were harvested from half of the total land the bulbs were cultivated on. The rest is expected to fetch about 50 maunds more onions.
At present, the market price of the harvested onions, which go for Tk 35 to 40 per kilo, will fetch about Tk 65,000 to 73,000.
Since an emerging crisis in food and other essentials at the onset of the pandemic and Russia-Ukraine war, Hasina, in different government and party functions, called upon the citizens to turn each inch of the country's land arable.
Her press secretary Ihsanul Karim told the media that the PM has turned every part of unused land inside Gono Bhaban arable, setting a rare example as she made her own call a reality.
He also said the PM's call to grow crops on all available land is inspired by Bangabandhu's 1974 call for the "green revolution".
Gono Bhaban sources said in the yards of her official residence, the PM cultivated paddy varieties such as red and aromatic rice, gourd, beans, tomato, and winter vegetables including cauliflower, broccoli, and cabbage.
Also, the PM grew sesame, mustard, and is farming honey bees in the mustard field to collect honey.
There are various types of spices including turmeric, onion, and chilly at the establishment.
Inside Gono Bhaban, there is also a garden of flowers and orchard of various fruit trees like mango, jackfruit, lichee, and jujube. Besides, there she grew bananas, dragon fruits, and strawberries.
Besides, the PM has separately set up farms of domestic animals including cows, local breeds of ducks and chickens, swans, and pigeons.
Aside from farming various types of fishes, she even created a corner in the Gono Bhaban pond to farm pearls.
Gono Bhaban sources said the harvested crops are largely distributed among the establishment's staffers and poor people, while the PM keeps a small portion of those for her family.