Bangladesh govt to provide free agricultural inputs to cyclone affected farmers

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Farmers harvesting the paddy. Representative photo

 

In an effort to minimize the crop loss triggered by the cyclonic storm Amphan that left trails on the southeastern coastlines last week, the government will provide agri inputs free of cost and cash incentives to the cyclone affected farmers during Aman season.

 

“The government will provide necessary fertilizers and seeds free of cost as well as cash incentives to the cyclone affected vegetable and spice farmers during the Aman season,” said Agriculture Minister Dr. Muhammad Abdur Razzaque in an online briefing with the journalists from his official residence a day after the cyclone.

As part of the agriculture rehabilitation programme, the government will provide farm credit to the affected farmers with a package of 4 percent interest, said the minister as the devastating cyclone has damaged nearly 60-70 percent mango yield in Satkhira district.

 

Dr. Razzaque said, “The government is preparing the list of cyclone affected farmers who had cultivated vegetables and different kinds of spices as they can get necessary assistance from the government during the aman season.”

About the primary assessment of crop damage due to Amphan, the agriculture minister said different crops on 1.76 lakh hectares of land have been affected, but it is underway to figure out the exact amount of crops that have been damaged in the cyclone.

He, however, said that no large scale crop damage was reported but some certain kinds of crops including fruits like mango, litchi, banana, vegetables, sesame, and boro paddy on limited areas of land have been damaged due to the cyclone.

 

Ruling out any negative impact on overall food production of the country due to the wrath of the cyclonic storm ‘Amphan’, the minister said more than 72 percent boro crop including 96 percent in the coastal belt areas and 100 percent in the Haor basins have already been harvested. So the crop loss on a limited scale would not have any impact on total food outcome, he added.

About the government’s latest initiative on farm sector assistance, Field Service Director of the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) Dr. Mohammad Alhaz Uddin told that “we are assessing the overall crop loss across the country and final decision on government assistance and the number of beneficiaries would be finalized after a meeting in next week.”

 

Boro crop on 47,000 hectares of land, Maize on 3,284 hectares, Jute on 34,139 hectares, Battle Leaf on 2,333 hectares, Vegetables on 41,967 hectares, Peanuts on 1,575 hectares, Sesame on 11,502 hectares, Mango on 7,384 hectares, Litchi on 473 hectares, Banana on 6,604 hectares, Papaya on 1,297 hectares, Chili on 3,306 hectares, Soyabean on 640 hectares, Mung Bean on 7,973 hectares and Aus crop on 6,528 hectares of land have already been affected due to the cyclone, according to the official website of the Ministry.

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