Bangladesh is an agricultural country. Eighty-five percent of the people in this country live in villages. In Bangladesh, 59.84% of the population is rural and 10.71% is urban. The contribution of the agriculture sector to the gross domestic product (GDP) is 19.1% and employment of 47.1% people are being created through the agriculture sector. The activities of the Ministry of Agriculture and related departments include expansion of orchards including cultivation of paddy, jute, cotton, sugarcane, flowers and silk, fish farming, vegetables, livestock development, increase in soil fertility, seed development, and distribution. Let’s introduce about Agriculture of Bangladesh.
Important to know about the Agriculture of Bangladesh:
The farmers of this country usually cultivate in the traditional way. Most farmers are still dependent on plows, ladders, and cows for crop production and processing. However, many farmers are now able to increase their yields through the use of various modern agricultural technologies. Although paddy and jute are the main crops of Bangladesh, wheat, tea, sugarcane, potato, and various types of vegetables are produced in significant quantities in this country.
The Ministry of Agriculture is the ministry responsible for the development of the agricultural sector in Bangladesh which is working for the development of the agricultural sector through various projects and agencies. The scope of work of this ministry extends from the development of agricultural products to the development of agro-based industries including research on agriculture, agricultural engineering, and agro-economy.
The effective services of the Department of Agricultural Extension have brought groundbreaking success in the field of agriculture. Bangladesh Agriculture Development Corporation (BADC) engage in increasing and supplying products of high yielding varieties of seeds. BADC has 21 Seed Diversification Farms and 15 Contract Growers Zones. Seeds of agricultural products are mechanically processed in 12 seed processing centers.
Private level Agriculture of Bangladesh
At the private level, private enterprises, research institutes, and commercial organizations are working for the development of agriculture. The Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council (BARC) under the Ministry of Agriculture conducts agricultural development activities jointly with several government ministries. The Ministries are Agriculture, Forest, and Environment, Fisheries and Livestock, Rural Development, Education, Industry, Commerce, Science, and Technology.
Recognizing the importance of rice production in terms of food security and political stability, Bangladesh Rice Research Center is working to revolutionize rice production, cultivate high yielding (Ufshi) paddy instead of low yielding paddy, and introduce modern scientific methods instead of the old conventional method of production.
The International Rice Research Center is also working on this. Bangladesh Agricultural Research Center is the largest multipurpose crop research institute in the country. The institute conducts research on various grains like wheat, potato, pulses, oilseeds, vegetables, fruits, spices, flowers, etc. In addition to variety development, soils and crop management, disease and pest management, irrigation and water management, agricultural inputs development, post-harvest farm management, production and marketing, socio-economic impacts are the research areas of this institute.
Nuclear agriculture has brought a new dimension to the agricultural sector in Bangladesh. Bangladesh Atomic Agriculture Research Institute (BARI) has developed 36 improved varieties of different crops through radiation application. The National Seed Certification Agency has barred them from distribution at the farmer level. Greater Rajshahi, Dinajpur, Rangpur, and Bogra districts and Malda district of West Bengal, India is known as the Barind region.
The soil here is hard, red, and barren. The Barind Multipurpose Development Authority is working for the development of agriculture in the region under the Bangladesh Agricultural Development Corporation. The Cotton Development Board, established under the Ministry of Agriculture, works to expand and encourage cotton cultivation in Bangladesh. The Seed Certification Agency has been playing a role in controlling the quality of rice, wheat, jute, and potato seeds.
The work of the Soil Resource Development Center established under the Ministry of Agriculture, Forests is to conduct soil surveys, irrigation project surveys and to prepare soil guidelines and aids so that soil resources can be used rationally.
Among other organizations, the Agriculture Marketing Department of the Ministry of Agriculture has undertaken an e-Governance project to facilitate the provision of urgent information on agricultural markets to farmers, traders, government, policymakers, development agencies, etc. through information technology.
In 1981, the Ministry of Agriculture started the Agricultural Information Service. The media, especially radio, television, documentaries, posters, leaflets, booklets, newspapers, periodicals, banners, festoons, etc. And have made a significant contribution to the field of agriculture. Bangladesh Applied Nutrition and Human Resource Development Board work to develop nutritionally skilled human resources in government. And non-government organizations through training programs, campaign meetings, symposiums, workshops, and mass media.