B’desh to commercialise agriculture sector

Dhaka, August 8:

Bangladesh plans to commercialise the country’s agriculture sector in a bid to make its produce globally competitive, reports Xinhua. The main purpose of the initiative is to ensure more value addition of local agricultural products and enhance the sector’s contribution to the national economy, the Financial Express reported today. While Bangladesh has made some progress in the agriculture sector, especially in foodgrain output over the years, local agri-products lag in global trade due to absence of adequate policy support from the government and lack of initiative by the private sector, the paper reported. However, the government is now paying more attention to the promotion of agriculture sector and has introduced a 30 per cent cash incentive for export of local commodities. Other support measures include a 20 per cent subsidy on electricity bills to be used by farmers, 20 per cent subsidy on electricity to be used by agro-based industries and another 25 per cent subsidy on imported fertilisers. Besides, the government has also reduced the rate of interest on agricultural loans, especially for production of pul-ses, spices and maize to help diversify local agricultural crops.