The Department of Agricultural Extension has set the goal to boost maize production to one crore tonnes by 2023.
DAE officials told New Age that the goal aimed at exporting maize after meeting the domestic demand.
DAE director for field service wing Chandi Das Kundu said that the maize acreage would be gradually increased.
Now, Bangladesh produces 40 lakh tonnes of maize, he said.
He said that the soil of Bangladesh was suitable for maize production during the kharif and rabi seasons.
DAE officials said that in 2019, Bangladesh exported maize for the first time to Bhutan and Myanmar.
They said that maize production in the country increased to 40 lakh tonnes this year as many potato farmers opted to grow it.
Bangladesh produced less than 10 lakh tonnes of maize a decade ago, they said.
They said that local feed mills needed 45-50 lakh tonnes of maize annually and that the demand was growing.
Maize cultivation in Bangladesh starts in March and the harvest takes place in July, DAE officials said, adding that maize cultivation required less irrigation but more fertilizers.
Maize grows well in Rajshahi, Dinajpur, Bogra and other northern districts as well as on the shoals, they said, adding that the availability of easy harvesting technology attracted many farmers to grow maize.
Sher-e-Bangla Agricultural University’s agronomy professor Abdullahil Baque told New Age that farmers leaned to increase the maize acreage due to its good price.
And the low rice prices were discouraging farmers to growing rice, he said.
He said that local companies should be given facilities to grow quality maize seeds in the country.
About 90 per cent of maize seeds are imported from India, he said, adding that for sustainable maize cultivation quality seeds should be produced in Bangladesh.
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