The government has approved a project worth Tk1.72bn to boost crop production by applying modern agricultural equipment.
Under the project titled “Increasing crop production through farm mechanisation,” the government will distribute nearly 32,000 units of modern agricultural equipment among the farmers with 25% government investment.
The project was approved at a meeting of the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) at NEC conference room on July 23. Prime Minister and ECNEC Chairperson Sheikh Hasina presided over the meeting.
It is one of seven development projects involving a cost of Tk7.47bn approved by ECNEC.
“The project would help reduce crop production cost, increase crop intensity and reduce post-harvest wastage to 5% from the existing 14%,” Planning Division Secretary Bhuiyan Shafiqul Islam told a press briefing after the meeting. Department of Agriculture Extension would implement the project at a cost of Tk1.72bn.
The approved project is a second phase project. Under its first phase, about 40,000 units of equipment were distributed in 35 districts.
Recommending the second phase of the project, the commission said the project has been formulated to make equipment available to farmers for land preparation, plantation, harvesting and crashing of crops in the face of the acute labour crisis in the agriculture sector.
ECNEC also approved another project titled “Bangladesh Agriculture Infrastructure Development Programmes.”
Under the project, 40 markets and 80 collection centers would be developed, and a market connecting 140km rural road would be developed.
In addition, irrigation systems for 2,000 hectares of land would also be developed.
USAID would provide a grant of Tk1.26bn for the Tk1.42bn project. Local Government Engineering Department would implement the project covering all the districts, except for Kustia of Khulna, Barisal Division, and Faridpur, Madaripur, Gopalganj, Rajbari and Shariatpur of Dhaka Division.
Of the total Tk7.47bn outlay, Tk4.77bn would come from public exchequer and the remaining Tk2.7bn would come as project assistance.