Published:  12:47 AM, 17 March 2020

Bangabandhu's Vision on Agriculture

Kbd. Dr. Md. Kamrul Islam

After getting independence through supreme sacrifice made by three million lives, the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman dream was to build a hunger and poverty free "Sonar Bangla". To achieve "Sonar Bangla", Bangabandhu has given high priority to both agriculture and industrialization. His vision was that agricultural sector would not only a source of food supply, but would also remain as the primary source of income for most of the people for generations to come.

Apart from poverty alleviation, agriculture would also provide raw materials for industrial sector. In order to support the textile industries, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman established Cotton Development Board on December 14, 1972. The American upland cotton, the main raw material for textile industries, wasn't cultivated in Bangladesh as a cash crop in 1972.

Bangabandhu rightly realized that the cotton-based industry would play a vital role in Bangladesh economy in future. Over the decades, it is now well established that the textile sector is the main source of export earning of Bangladesh. Cotton value chain, linking from farm to fashion, in Bangladesh is now well established in which private Ginners are one of the key stakeholders. Ginners' procured seed cotton from the farmers.

Seed cotton contains seed and fiber. In the ginning process seed and fiber are separated. Fiber used in the spinning industries for making yarn and seed is crushed to edible oil and oilcake. Oilcake used for animal/poultry feed. Indeed, cotton becomes a model crop in Bangladesh considering the agriculture contribution to industry which also created employment opportunity for millions of people particularly for the women. 

Similarly, Bangabandhu's eldest daughter our honorable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has prioritized cotton research and development in Bangladesh.

Consequently, in 2018-2019 growing season, cotton was cultivated on 44,185 hector of lands in Bangladesh from which 1,71,400 bales of fiber was produced. This quantity was the highest in our country since 1972. Presently, the cotton productivity in Bangladesh is the highest among the neighboring cotton growing countries like India, Pakistan, Myanmar etc.

The average cotton yield in Bangladesh is 2773 kilogram per hector. This achievement has been made possible only because of Bangabandhu's vision on contribution of agriculture to industry and proper nourishment by the "Jananetri" honorable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

The writer is Sr. Scientific Officer, CDB

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