Farm mechanisation, commercialisation can save farmers: Razzaque

Economic Reporter :
Stressing the importance of farm mechanisation to boost outputs and save farmers from losses, Agriculture Minister Muhammad Abdur Razzaque has said farmers will be provided with agricultural machinery.
He said machinery like combine harvesters, rippers and rice transplanters at 60 percent subsidised rates from the next Boro season under a government project.
The Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) has already prepared a proposal seeking a Tk 562.55 crore allocation for the project, the minister told UNB in an interview recently.
“Farm worker crisis has pushed up the production costs of farmers. It has been created due to alternative job opportunities. Now farmers don’t get workers when needed and they’ve to pay higher wages if they get ones, resulting in increased production costs. Agriculture mechanisation is necessary to face the crisis,” he said.
The minister said the mechanisation of farming is aimed at reducing the production cost and boosting productivity.
“Once it’s done, farmers will be able to prevent crop wastage and save their both money and time,” said Dr Razzaque adding that the project also aims to increase production by making farming more profitable and commercially viable.
Replying to a question about the quantity of required machinery, the minister said agriculture officials during a recent survey received detailed information from farmers to determine the needs of cutting and planting machines.
He said authorities will distribute these machinery as per requirement received through the survey from 58 districts.
Mentioning some obstacles to mechanisation of farming, the minister said the services of the machinery suppliers in the country are very poor and customers used to get deprived of after-sale services. Besides, he said, spare parts of these machinery are not available in the country.
The authorities concerned have been directed to make sure that farmers get proper after-sales services for their machines after their purchase from suppliers.