This means providing proper support to the farmers,labourers, and all who work in the agriculture sector
In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, as people’s daily lives are drastically altered, the government must ensure that, above all, there remains steady and sufficient food production.
To that end, the government’s Tk5,000 crore incentive package for the agriculture sector was a laudatory and necessary initiative.
However, given the sheer scale of the adversity we face, our farmers require more assistance, so as to continue to do their jobs and produce food for the country.
This means providing proper support to the farmers, labourers, and all who work in the agriculture sector to keep it functional.
This also includes the suppliers who provide the goods and services to the agriculture sector; pesticide, farm equipment, and fertilizers must reach the farmers on time, and the authorities must ensure that the suppliers are not discouraged by the current climate to continue to support our farmers.
Additionally, with harvest season upon us for the Boro crop, which has seen a significant yield this year, the authorities must also ensure that the lockdown rules currently in place do not act as a roadblock to our farmers’ efforts to reap their crops on time, before they are damaged.
Lastly, and perhaps most significantly, our hard-working farmers must be given a fair price for their crops. In the past, farmers have been forced to abandon their yields due to unfair prices.
Therefore, the government must set up provisions to buy the crops in paddy form directly from farmers, whilst making sure that unscrupulous middle-men do not try to take advantage of the current situation. Only then will our farmers be financially equipped and encouraged to produce more crops for the rest of the year.
With no guarantee on how long we have to go through this pandemic, keeping a steady food reserve will be crucial. For that, our farmers must receive all the support they can. There is no alternative.