The growth in the production of crops and vegetables has doubled in the outgoing fiscal year (2016-17) after a decreased growth in the FY 2015-16.
According to the Bangladesh Economic Survey data, the growth in the production of the major products of the agriculture and forestry sector increased to 1.72 per cent in FY17 from 0.88 per cent in FY16.
Economists, however, raised question about the growth estimate as it has been calculated based on the production growth in the first nine months of the fiscal year.
They said that the production of crops and vegetable was expected to be lower in FY17 than the previous fiscal year due to crop losses at the beginning of the last quarter of this fiscal year.
The growth in the production of vegetables and crops was at 1.83 per cent in FY15 and at 3.78 per cent in FY14.
The survey data showed that the overall agriculture and forestry sector also registered a higher growth of 2.51 per cent in FY17 against 1.79 per cent in FY16.
Agriculture economist Jahangir Alam Khan told New Age on Friday that the production of crops and vegetables was not better in FY17 than that of the last fiscal year.
Heavy rainfalls in almost all parts of the country, flood in Chalan Beel in Natore and blast disease outbreak put a negative impact on the production of crops and vegetables, he said.
Moreover, he said, the production of boro crop will also drop in this fiscal year as a good quantity of the crop was lost due to recent flash flood in haor areas.
All ministries related to the agriculture sector have already admitted that the production of crops in this fiscal year would be around 10 lakh to 12 lakh tonnes less than that of FY16, Jahangir, also a former president of the Bangladesh Agricultural Economists Association, said.
The government has prepared the growth estimate based on projection and it takes into consideration the production of the first nine months of a fiscal year to determine the annual rate, he said.
The growth rate will be lower when the government will take into account the full year’s production, he said.
Economist Hossain Zillur Rahman also did not find any reason for the higher production of vegetables and crops in the outgoing fiscal year.
The government should give an explanation of how it has achieved the
higher growth in FY17, he said.
‘The country’s farmland has been continuing to decrease in recent years. So, there is no possibility of achieving such robust growth in the production of crops and vegetables,’ he said.
The government should take initiative to diversify agriculture products as the farm sector is still contributing hugely to generating employment and ensuring the country’s food security, he added.
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