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Subsidise agriculture to maintain food security

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23rd-Jun-2019       
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AGRICULTURAL economists suggested the government for setting up a special fund from where the farmers would receive support during the harvesting period. As the growers become deprived of the fair price of their production, the fund would help the farmers and encourage them to stay in the agriculture sector. The government so far maintains different funds for supporting RMG, banking sector, export-oriented firms, and SME but farmers remain out of the budgetary support after harvest. If the farmers refrained off firming, our food security would face the greatest threat. The opinion comes up in a Post-budget discussion in the capital city on Thursday.
Noted Agricultural Economists said the government, apart from the price support, has to give each farmer a support of Tk 2,000 against an acre of land as their income have come down. Though the budget is ever big, there is no vision to transform traditional agriculture into a commercial one, a promise mentioned in the ruling party's election manifesto. Question also remains whether the real farmers would reap benefits of the various incentives in the sector. Experts said surplus paddy of small and medium farmers is a big problem. But the budget speech did not mention anything about the matter while the subsidies which are given at different inputs of agriculture are not sufficient.
In recent budgets, the government kept allocations of Tk 9,000 crore as subsidy in the Agriculture Sector, but it did not spend more than Tk. 5,201 crore. Agriculture Minister Abdur Razzaque said that the government will provide Tk 2000 crore to Tk 3000 core in subsidies on agriculture equipment. It is advisable that the government should properly utilise the fund by removing the loopholes of corruption and middlemen intervention in the supply chain. The government must take the responsibility of fair price for farmers and extend their support, thus farmers stay in the sector and maintain our food security.


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