BADC to launch three seed multiplication farms
Author / Source : Faisal Rahman
Dhaka, Nov 25: Bangladesh Agricultural Development Corporation (BADC) is going to set up three seed multiplication farms in Barisal and Patuakhali districts with an aim to annually produce11,500 tonnes seeds of different crops for the farmers in the southern coastal region. A Tk.248.63 crore project in this regard is awaiting the approval of the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) anytime in the next fifteen days, sources in the Ministry of Agriculture said.
But before implementation, they said, the project would require the completion of an Environmental Impact Assessment report to be submitted to the environment department for approval on the ground that there will be no adverse effect of the land development on the environment of the area, specially on the course of the rivers, they said. According to BADC officials working on the project, the project will shore up BADC’s general goal of increasing quality seed production in the country besides intensifying agriculture in the southern coastal region.
Md. Nuruzzaman, director (seed and horticulture) of BADC, told The Independent that the ministry had recently asked the BADC to revise its seed distribution target to ensure that it could provide at least 23 per cent of the national requirement of quality seeds by 2021. At present BADC is providing only 9.6 per cent of the national seed requirement, which is about 10.87 lakh tonnes, he added.
He said 1044.36 acres of lands on Char Botham, Char Banshbaria and Char Haider in Barisal Sadar and Dashmina upazilas would be acquired under the project, while about Tk. 18 crore taka was also allocated among the proposed expenditure for the rehabilitation of the 300 families living in those 80-year-old chars (sand bars).
The farms will also focus on producing foundation seeds from the breeder seeds of different stress tolerant varieties of rice, wheat, oil-seeds and pulses, developed by research organizations that include Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI) and Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI), he said. A seed processing and preservation centre with the capacity of preserving 1,000 tonnes dehumidified seeds and 2,000 tonnes natural seeds at a time, and a 2,000 tonnes cold storage for potato will be constructed under the project, he added.
According to the recommendations of the pre-ECNEC meeting on the project on August 18, a 17 kilometres dam is required to protect the area from flooding during the rainy season as the area naturally goes under 4-5 feet water in that period. The recommendations of the pre-ECNEC meeting also include that an Environment Impact Assessment report must be prepared to be approved by the environment department before the implementation of the project.