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A strong agricultural sector is vital to the nation's wellbeing

Article - December 16, 2011
Agriculture is the single most important sector in Bangladesh’s economy today, contributing about 20.24 per cent to GDP in 2009-10
The growth rate of this broad agriculture sector for 2009-10 was estimated to be 4.67 per cent. “The highest priority in this country is agriculture,” Abul Maal Abdul Muhith stressed, who has been the Finance Minister of Bangladesh since January, 2009. 

The agriculture sector is so important to Bangladesh not only for the numbers it contributes towards the country’s GDP, but also for what it does for the people of Bangladesh. This sector has given Bangladesh food security, while also making an overwhelming impact on the macroeconomic objectives of poverty alleviation, employment development, and human resources development. As a result, the Bangladeshi government is paying close attention to agriculture and fishing, and doing everything in its power to maintain its upward curve.
“THE HIGHEST PRIORITY IN THIS COUNTRY IS AGRICULTURE.”

ABUL MAAL ABDUL MUHITH, Finance Minister of Bangladesh

Against a backdrop of global recession, commodity price hikes and food shortages, measures have been taken to meet the increasing food demand by increasing domestic production. Special emphasis has been given to build up a modern agricultural system, with the introduction of new technologies and expansion of opportunities for agricultural research. Furthermore, measures for increasing subsidy on inputs to agriculture, expanding irrigation and making agricultural inputs more available, preserving the harvest and ensuring fair price of crops and agro-products have been taken, with the aim of increasing productivity. The target for agricultural credit disbursement in 2009-10 was fixed at Tk. 11,512.30 crore, of which Tk.11,116.88 crore was disbursed, achieving 96.57 per cent of the target.

Rice and jute are the country’s primary products, though maize and vegetables are assuming a greater importance. Tea is grown in the northeast, and due to fertile soil and an ample water supply, rice can be harvested up to three times a year. The livestock sector has become increasingly significant, and the government has taken steps such as producing and distributing vaccines, supplying ducklings and chickens at lower prices, expanding artificial insemination programs, and preventing and controlling avian influenza. All the measures contribute to the same goal – to achieve self-sufficiency in milk, poultry and livestock production, and to meet the protein demands of a rapidly growing population.

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