Agriculture Sector of Bangladesh

Executive Summary:

My chosen topic was about the Agriculture of Bangladesh. This is one of the most important Economic sectors in our Bangladesh. In our country 80% people are related in the agriculture sector. From this agriculture sector our country earned   many foreign currency. Our country’s fertile soil and normally ample water supply. So in this main reason our country is agriculture based. Rice and Jute are the primary crops. Vegetables , Poultry , Tea, Wood and Fishing are the important in agriculture. Another reason is cheap labor price.  Agriculture   removing the unemployment problems. In this reason I choose this topic.

Introduction

Agriculture:

Most Bangladeshis earn their living from agriculture. Although rice and jute are the primary crops, maize and vegetables are assuming greater importance. Due to the expansion of irrigation networks, some wheat producers have switched to cultivation of maize which is used mostly as poultry feed. Tea is grown in the northeast. Because of Bangladesh’s fertile soil and normally ample water supply, rice can be grown and harvested three times a year in many areas. Due to a number of factors, Bangladesh’s labor-intensive agriculture has achieved steady increases in food grain production despite the often unfavorable weather conditions. These include better flood control and irrigation, a generally more efficient use of fertilizers, and the establishment of better distribution and rural credit networks. With 28.8 million metric tons produced in 2005-2006 (July-June), rice is Bangladesh’s principal crop. By comparison, wheat output in 2005-2006 was 9 million metric tonsPopulation pressure continues to place a severe burden on productive capacity, creating a food deficit, especially of wheat. Foreign assistance and commercial imports fill the gap, but seasonal hunger (“monga”) remains a problem. Underemployment remains a serious problem, and a growing concern for Bangladesh’s agricultural sector will be its ability to absorb additional manpower. Finding alternative sources of employment will continue to be a daunting problem for future governments, particularly with the increasing numbers of landless peasants who already account for about half the rural labor force. Due to farmers’ vulnerability to various risks, Bangladesh’s poorest face numerous potential limitations on their ability to enhance agriculture production and their livelihoods. These include an actual and perceived risk to investing in new agricultural technologies and activities (despite their potential to increase income), a vulnerability to shocks and stresses and a limited ability to mitigate or cope with these and limited access to market information.

Methologe

Primary

The necessary information for this report has been collected from the interview with various economic websites such us:

www.wikipedia.com

www.Encydopedia.com

www.Answers.com

Secondary

The report collected has been this company Annual Economic report

Literature Review

Agriculture in Bangladesh

Bangladesh has a primarily agrarian economy. Agriculture is the single largest producing sector of the economy since it comprises about 30% of the country’s GDP and employs around 60% of the total labor force. The performance of this sector has an overwhelming impact on major macroeconomic objectives like employment generation, poverty alleviation, human resources development and food security.

Most Bangladeshis earn their living from agriculture. Although rice and jute are the primary crops, wheat is assuming greater importance. Tea is grown in the northeast. Because of Bangladesh’s fertile soil and normally ample water supply, rice can be grown and harvested three times a year in many areas. Due to a number of factors, Bangladesh’s labor-intensive agriculture has achieved steady increases in food grain production despite the often unfavorable weather conditions. These include better flood control and irrigation, a generally more efficient use of fertilizers, and the establishment of better distribution and rural credit networks. With 35.8 million metric tons produced in 2000, rice is Bangladesh’s principal crop. National sales of the classes of insecticide used on rice, including granular carbofuran, synthetic pyrethroids, and Malathion exceeded 13,000 tons of formulated product in 2003HYPERLINK  \l “cite_note-. The insecticides not only represent an environmental threat, but are a significant expenditure to poor rice farmers. The Bangladesh Rice Research Institute is working with various NGOs and international organizations to reduce insecticide use in rice.

In comparison to rice, wheat output in 1999 was 1.9 million metric tons. Population pressure continues to place a severe burden on productive capacity, creating a food deficit, especially of wheat. Foreign assistance and commercial imports fill the gap. Underemployment remains a serious problem, and a growing concern for Bangladesh’s agricultural sector will be its ability to absorb additional manpower. Finding alternative sources of employment will continue to be a daunting problem for future governments, particularly with the increasing numbers of landless peasants who already account for about half the rural labor force.

Rice and jute are the primary crops, maize and vegetables are assuming greater importance. Due to the expansion of irrigation networks, some wheat producers have switched to cultivation of maize which is used mostly as poultry feed. Tea is grown in the northeast. Because of Bangladesh’s fertile soil and normally ample water supply, rice can be grown and harvested three times a year in many areas. Due to a number of factors, Bangladesh’s labor-intensive agriculture has achieved steady increases in food grain production despite the often unfavorable weather conditions. These include better flood control and irrigation, a generally more efficient use of fertilizers, and the establishment of better distribution and rural credit networks. With 28.8 million metric tons produced in 2005-2006 (July-June), rice is Bangladesh’s principal crop.[4] By comparison, wheat output in 2005-2006 was 9 million metric tons. Population pressure continues to place a severe burden on productive capacity, creating a food deficit, especially of wheat. Foreign assistance and commercial imports fill the gap. Underemployment remains a serious problem, and a growing concern for Bangladesh’s agricultural sector will be its ability to absorb additional manpower. Finding alternative sources of employment will continue to be a daunting problem for future governments, particularly with the increasing numbers of landless peasants who already account for about half the rural labor force.

Bangladesh is the fourth largest rice  producing country in the world. National sales of the classes of insecticide used on rice, including granular carbofuran, synthetic pyrethroids, and Malathion exceeded 13,000 tons of formulated products in 2003. The insecticides not only represent an environmental threat, but are a significant expenditure to poor rice farmers. The Bangladesh Rice Research Institute is working with various NGOs and international organizations to reduce insecticide use in rice.

Wheat is not a traditional crop in Bangladesh, and in the late 1980s little was consumed in rural areas. During the 1960s and early 1970s, however, it was the only commodity for which local consumption increased because external food aid was most often provided in the form of wheat. In the first half of the 1980s, domestic wheat production rose to more than 1 million tons per year but was still only 7 to 9 percent of total food grain production. Record production of nearly 1.5 million tons was achieved in FY 1985, but the following year saw a decrease to just over 1 million tons. About half the wheat is grown on irrigated land. The proportion of land devoted to wheat remained essentially unchanged between 1980 and 1986, at a little less than 6 percent of total planted area Wheat also accounts for the great bulk of imported food grains, exceeding 1 million tons annually and going higher than 1.8 million tons in FY 1984, FY 1985, and FY 1987. The great bulk of the imported wheat is financed under aid programs of the United States, the European Economic Community, and the World Food Programmed.

Food grains are cultivated primarily for subsistence. Only a small percentage of total production makes its way into commercial channels. Other Bangladeshi food crops, however, are grown chiefly for the domestic market. They include potatoes and sweet potatoes, with a combined record production of 1.9 million tons in FY 1984; oilseeds, with an annual average production of 250,000 tons; and fruits such as bananas, jackfruit, mangoes, and pineapples. Estimates of sugarcane production put annual production at more than 7 million tons per year, most of it processed into a coarse, unrefined sugar known as gur, and sold domestically.

Wood is the main fuel for cooking and other domestic requirements. It is not surprising that population pressure has had an adverse effect on the indigenous forests. By 1980 only about 16 percent of the land was forested, and forests had all but disappeared from the densely populated and intensively cultivated deltaic plain. Aid organizations in the mid-1980s began looking into the possibility of stimulating small-scale forestry to restore a resource for which there was no affordable substitute.

The largest areas of forest are in the Chittagong Hills and the Sundarbans. The evergreen and deciduous forests of the Chittagong Hills cover more than 4,600 square kilometers and are the source of teak for heavy construction and boat building, as well as other forest products. Domesticated elephants are still used to haul logs. The Sundarbans, a tidal mangrove forest covering nearly 6,000 square kilometers along the Bay of Bengal, is the source of timber used for a variety of purposes, including pulp for the domestic paper industry, poles for electric power distribution, and leaves for thatching for dwellings.

Bangladesh being a first line littoral state of the Indian Ocean has a very good source of marine resources in the Bay of Bengal. The country has an exclusive economic zone of 41,000 square miles (110,000 km2), which is 73% of the country’s land area. On the other hand, Bangladesh is a small and developing country overloaded with almost unbearable pressure of human population. In the past, people of Bangladesh were mostly dependent upon land-based proteins. But, the continuous process of industrialization and urbanization consumes the limited land area. Now there is no other way than to harvest the vast under water protein from the Bay of Bengal, which can meet the country’s demand.

More than 80 percent of the animal protein in the Bangladeshi diet comes from fish. Fish accounted for 6 percent of GDP in the fiscal year of 1970, nearly 50 percent more than modern industrial manufacturing at that time. Most commercial fishermen are low-caste Hindus who eke out the barest subsistence working under primitive and dangerous conditions. They bring a high degree of skill and ingenuity to their occupation; a few of the most enterprising ones are aided by domesticated otters, which behave like shepherds, swimming underwater, driving fish toward the fisherman’s net (and being rewarded themselves with a share of the catch). Fish for local consumption are generally of freshwater varieties.

As of the end of 1987, prevailing methods for culturing shrimp in Bangladesh were still relatively unsophisticated, and average yields per hectare were low. In the late 1980s, almost all inland scrimping was done by capture rather than by intensive aquaculture. Farmers relied primarily on wild post larval and juvenile shrimp as their sources of stock, acquired either by trapping in ponds during tidal water exchange or by gathering from local estuaries and stocking directly in the ponds. Despite the seemingly low level of technology applied to shrimp aquaculture, it became an increasingly important part of the frozen seafood industry in the mid-1980s.

The World Bank and the Asian Development Bank financed projects to develop shrimp aquaculture in the 1980s. Private investors were also initiating similar projects to increase capacity and to introduce modern technology that would increase average yields.

Training for the fishing industry of Bangladesh, as well as for merchant shipping and related maritime industries is provided by the Bangladesh Marine Fisheries Academy.

Findings:

Strengths:

  • Having competent and versatile human resources
  • Having a well-set up professional man power
  • Location specific agricultural knowledge of ext. officers.
  • Possessing generally adequate physical facilities including a network of local offices
  • Competence in a wide range of extension methods
  • Diversified available technologies
  • Follow up planning
  • Working with groups
  • Environmental awareness particularly Integrated Soil fertility & pest worker
  • Human resource development institute (ATI & CERDI)
  • Farmers training center

Weakness:

  • Inadequate communication
  • Lack of incentives for efficient extension worker
  • Lack of expertise and institution to prepare extension material for the users.
  • Lack of appropriate technologies for char (Sandy / Land)
  • Lack of Raw material
  • Lack of awareness
  • Natural Calamity (Flood, Cyclone, Heavy Raining etc)

Recommendation:

I want to say, our agriculture sector developing day by day. Our agriculture products are more demanded day by day in foreign market. It’s remove our unemployment. Agriculture sector keeps important role in our country. It is unfortunate for the peasants of our country that they work hard for agriculture products but get very poor out put. It is the first & foremost duty to impart agriculture education to our peasants. They should be taught the use of scientific methods of cultivation.

Conclusion:

In view of the fact that agriculture is the backbone of our national economy, top-priority should be given for the development of our agriculture. All time any government of Bangladesh has undertaken various programmers for the improvement of agriculture. Bangladesh Agriculture is now in the process of transformation from subsistence farming into commercial farming. Bangladesh has already entered into the European Market for export of vegetables and other high value crops. This process opens a vista to private sector investment in the areas of production of high value crops, production of seeds (especially hybrid seeds), of chemical and blended fertilizers, agro-processing enterprises, etc. Finally, for longer term growth, well-designed management of the water resources is absolutely essential and will be particularly important for adaption to climate change.

Agriculture

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