New law in the offing to save croplands in BD: Minister

Dhaka, Feb 24 (UNB) – Land Minister Saifuzzaman Chowdhury on Sunday told Parliament that his ministry has taken an initiative to enact a law titled “Arable Land Protection and Land Use Bill 2019” to save croplands and ensure their best use.

“Revising the draft (of the bill), it’ll soon be sent to the Cabinet Division for approval by the Cabinet,” he said replying to an unstarred (written) question from treasury bench MP M Abdul Latif (Chattogram-11).

Agriculture Minister Dr Md Abdur Razzaque said the government provided Tk 63,263.43 crore as subsidy to the agriculture sector since 2009-2010 fiscal year.

Of the amount, Tk 61,123.93 crore was given against fertilizers, he said replying to an unstarred question from the same MP (Abdul Latif).

The Agriculture Minister said the production of food grains increased in the country to 4.13 crore metric tons in the 2017-’18 fiscal year from 3.33 crore in 2008-’09 fiscal year.

The fertilizer production increased in the country and Bangladesh attained food autarky, said Dr Razzaque.

In replying to a question from opposition Jatiya Party MP Shameem Haider Patwary (Gaibandha-1), the Agriculture Minister said the tobacco production came down to 74,382 metric tons in 2017-’18 fiscal year from 104,480 metric tons in 2015-’16 fiscal year.

Dr Razzaque said the tobacco production and lands on which lands are produced are declining gradually.