Khulna Correspondent: Agriculture Minister Md. Abdur Razzak MP said, there is a lot of potential for agricultural production in the saline lands of the coastal and southern parts of the country. In the meantime, our agricultural scientists have been able to develop salinity tolerant improved varieties of many crops including paddy, pulses, watermelon, potato, maize, barley, sunflower, vegetables. Work is underway to rapidly expand these varieties and production technologies among farmers in large coastal areas. A roadmap is being prepared for this purpose. If the farmers cultivate these crops, a new agricultural revolution will take place in the saline areas of the south. The per capita income of the people of this area will increase. The quality of human life will change as desired.
The Agriculture Minister said this while addressing a farmers’ rally in Dumuria Upazila of Khulna on Sunday morning.
Agriculture Minister. Razzak said about 25% of the country is coastal. Due to the salinity of the area, there was a crop all year round. For the rest of the year after harvesting aman paddy, field after field was left idle. We have been working on how to cultivate crops twice or thrice a year in this unfavorable and unfavorable environment. There have been many successes. It will be further expanded so that different crops can be produced in the area throughout the year.
Initiatives are being taken to dig / re-excavate more than 600 canals in Bagerhat, Khulna to alleviate the problem of irrigation water, the minister said.
During the visit, local MP and former minister Nayan Chandra Chanda, senior secretary of the agriculture ministry Md Mesbahul Islam, additional secretary Wahida Akter, director general of the Department of Agricultural Extension Md Asadullah, BADC chairman Dr. Amitabh Sarkar, BARC executive chairman Sheikh Md. Bakhtiyar, Deputy Director of Agriculture Extension Department Khulna Md. Hafizur Rahman and others were present.
It may be mentioned that according to the Department of Agricultural Extension, the total land area in the coastal area is 28 lakh 30 thousand hectares, of which 21 lakh 62 thousand hectares are cultivable. The amount of saline area is 10 lakh 56 thousand hectares. In addition, more than 5 lakh hectares of land in the coastal areas remain uncultivated during the dry season every year due to the scarcity of salt water.
According to the survey of the Institute of Soil Research and Development, out of the total 2 lakh13 thousand hectares of cultivable land in Khulna, the amount of saline land is 1 lakh 90 thousand hectares. Which is 89 percent of the total cultivable land.