Farmers’ thoughts on the upcoming national budget
A large part of the national income in agricultural Bangladesh comes from agricultural sources. Even though 70 percent of the people are directly or indirectly engaged in agriculture, there is no participation of this class of people in pre-budget discussions. The national budget will reflect the unique thoughts and ideas of the grassroots farmers, their day-to-day problems related to agriculture and recommendations. Such is the hope of the farmers of our country. The desired development of the country will be possible if the budget is formulated with utmost importance to all sectors of agriculture in the next budget. Basically, a truly agriculture-friendly national budget will be reflected only if farmers can be involved in the thoughts and ideas of the national budget.
Problems of farmers in agriculture: A correct and beautiful farmer and agriculture friendly budget can be formulated in the future only if the problems of the farmers at the field level can be highlighted. In light of that, the problems that are observed at the field level of the farmers at present are that sand is being dumped in the cultivated land of the farmers. Farmers in Char region do not get agricultural loans on easy terms. Three crop fields and two crop fields are being systematically dug for ponds and canals. As a result of which the land is flooded. Modern varieties and technologies in agriculture do not reach the farmers on time. Non-availability of fertilizer at fixed price. Lack of easy and low cost water irrigation system. Non-continuance of electricity subsidy for agriculture. Lack of facilities for milk storage, chilling-centre and sale at local level. Lack of storage of vegetable and fruit crops. Lack of insurance coverage in all sectors of agriculture. Inadequate allocation to research into climate resilient agricultural innovations.
Lack of subsidy on animal feed. Lack of crop processing systems. Having problem of power load shedding. Not getting fair price for crops. Increase in price of fuel oil and electricity. Improper quality of animal feed. No subsidy in fish and poultry sector. Increase in prices of seeds and fertilizers. Lack of cold storage for winter crops. Government not buying paddy from farmers at the right time. Not protecting the land by governing planned rivers. Lack of transport support for seasonal fruits. Not having production and expiry date on Sir's packet.
Demand of farmers in the budget: Recommendations for the preparation of the budget of agriculture and farmers; Continuation of subsidy on all types of agriculture especially fuel oil and electricity and introduction of insurance facility in agriculture sector. Increased allocation of research into climate change resilient agricultural innovations is the demand of farmers' time. Sustainable development requires research. By maintaining the quality of animal feed; providing subsidy on animal feed.
Continuation of subsidy on fertilizers and machinery to farmers. Like agricultural crops, fish and poultry are also subsidized. Provision of cold storage for processing and storage of fruit crops. Ensuring fair price of crops by providing uninterrupted power. To take effective measures to ensure that the farmers get the necessary fertilizers at the price set by the government. To take effective measures to enable farmers to purchase quality seeds at low and fair prices. If the government buys paddy from the farmers at the right time, at the right price, then the farmers will be self-sufficient. Taking up timely projects to transform agriculture into modern smart agriculture by mechanizing and digitizing it. Timely delivery of modern varieties and technology in agriculture. Above all, taking comprehensive measures to ensure that farmers get agricultural loans on easy terms.
Agricultural budget and market management are very important in our country. So far formal retail in the country is only 2%. If the market management is good, the supply situation will improve. As a result the farmer/farmer can sell to the retail chain at a better price. To build a smart Bangladesh; Now is the time to transform agriculture into smart agricultural budgeting and agricultural management with the mechanization, digitization and artificial intelligence (AI) technology of modern agriculture. Farmers want to see the reflection of agriculture in the upcoming national budget.
The writer is a Lead-Agriculturist