Published:  12:59 AM, 17 March 2020

Bangabandhu and Agriculture

Dr. Debasish Sarker

We are the proud citizens of the greatest Bengali of a thousand years Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Bangabandhu wanted to make Bangladesh full of food grains which was achieved by supreme sacrifices made by three million lives. Therefore, he called green revolution after liberation war. Bangabandhu had a dream to establish Bangladesh which will be free from hunger and poverty.

He wanted to see Bangladesh as 'Sonar Bangla' developing agriculture and farmers of the country. On 13th February, 1973, he underscored to develop the rural areas of the country in a speech at Bangladesh Agricultural University in Mymensingh. Because, he perceived that the villages are development epicenter of the country. When the villages will be developed and enriched economically, the whole country will go ahead.     

Bangabandhu said we need a complete survey first to make overall development of the agriculture. No plan will be successful without survey. For this reason, we must make a proper survey before starting works. We should make plan on the basis of the survey. Due to socio-economic issues, the division of lands is increasing day by day. If we don't able to set up integrated agricultural farm, the development of agriculture will be hampered.

We can't ensure our expected agricultural production. We must underscore integrated farming system to increase our food production. We must take measures to educate farmers about latest cultivation methods and authority concerned must share their experiences with the farmers. Then, we can achieve our intended success.

To engage talented students to agriculture, Bangabandhu gave first class status to agriculturist profession. He perceived that if the farmers of the county are developed, the country will develop. Bangandhu took revolutionary measures to make farmers free from hunger and poverty.

He made arrangements to provide quality seeds, fertilizers, insecticides and irrigation so that the farmers can grow more crops. With a view to ensuring management activities, Bangabandhu established Bangladesh Agriculture Research Council, Bangladesh Agriculture Development Corporation, Uddayan Development Board, Cotton Development Board, Seed Certification Agency, Bangladesh Sugarcane Research Institute, Fisheries Development Corporation. 

In order to provide loans to farmer on simple terms and conditions, Bangabandhu established Bangladesh Krishi Bank. He also took measures to distribute khas lands to the landless farmers of the country. He also remitted taxes on minimum 25 bigha land. Putting dam around the coastal areas, he protected crops of 18 lakhs acre land of the farmers.

In fact, Bangabandhu got huge response after introducing green revolution in Bangladesh. Therefore, we are now self-sufficient in food. In 1973, he made the arrangements to rehabilitate 22 lakhs farmers. In his period, various types of low-lift pump and deed tube well were set up. The farmers were distributed hybrid paddy (IR-8) and wheat seeds which was then brought from Philippine.   

Bangladesh is now a model for the world regarding economic development in spite of hundreds of barriers. Meeting the food shortage, Bangladesh is now turned as an exporting country. Bangladesh is an example in the world in all human development index including reducing mother and child death, increase of average life expectancy, taking quality food.

All these have been made possible due to the success in agriculture. And we achieved these as we are independent. And the architect of the independence of this country is Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

But, after the killing of Bangabandhu, the achievement in agriculture was decreased. Bangabandhu was the man who gave first class status to agriculturist profession to strengthen the agriculture sector. Through his epoch-making measures, we are now achieved self-sufficiency in food under the visionary leadership of Jananetri Sheikh Hasina.
The writer is Chief Scientific officer and Head
of Entomology Division, BARI

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