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Dhaka Tribune

Razzaque: Action plan underway to meet 40% edible oil demand locally

The government is now providing credit to the farmers with 4% interest, the agriculture minister says

Update : 18 Sep 2022, 10:10 PM

Agriculture Minister Dr M Abdur Razzaque on Sunday said the government is implementing action plan to meet at least 40% demand of edible oil locally as local oil production now hovers only 200,000 tons against two million tons of Bangladesh’s annual demand.

“The Agriculture Ministry is implementing some sort of definite action plan to meet 40% edible oil demand locally in next 3-4 years”, said the minister.

The agriculture minister came up with the expectation while addressing a seminar at a city hotel here this morning.

Bangladeshis consume two million tons of edible oil a year, while the local production hovers around only around 200,000 tons. The imported 1.8 million tons of edible oil incorporate 46% soybean and 53% palm oil.

Expressing his grave concern over agricultural credit, Dr Razzaque, also ruling Awami League presidium member, said the government is now providing credit to the farmers with 4% interest.  He said that but in most of the cases, the farmers face difficulties in fulfilling terms and condition in getting loans.

Krishi Bank Managing Director Ismail Hossain, Media personality Shaikh Siraj, Financial Institutions Division Additional Secretary Abdullah Harun Pasha, Krishibid Awlad Hossen, Dhaka University Banking and Insurance Division Prof Hasina Sheikh, former Managing Director of Bank Asia Arfan Ali, Managing Director of Bangladesh Finance Kaiser Hamid, among others, spoke on the occasion.

On the requirement of insurance for the livestock sector, the minister said: “Insurance is very much needed for the livestock.”

Reiterating importance of financial inclusion, credit and investment in the livestock sector, the discussants said the perspective of the Bankers should be changed in case of farm credit disbursement as most of the banks so far did not open their branches at the rural level.

On the other hand, micro financial institutions (MFIs) and NGOs usually disburse credit with 20-25% high interest rate in the rural areas after taking less interest rate fund from the Bangladesh Bank.

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