Agriculture Minister Dr Muhammad Abdur Razzaque said the government will continue ongoing subsidies in the agriculture sector to ensure food security.

He said the prices of all agriculture-related products including fertilizers have increased drastically in the global market.

Still, the price of fertilizers has not increased by a single penny in the country due to the subsidy given by the government, reports UNB.

Dr Razzaque said this while speaking as the chief guest at Bangladesh Seed Congress at the Bangabandhu International Conference Center (BICC) in the capital on Saturday.

The minister also said that there were still many complaints about low-quality seeds.

“I got news from the field level that the seedlings are not half-grown. Still, some companies have a tendency to cheat farmers.”

He lamented that many times farmers were cheated with low-quality seeds. On one hand, the farmers are affected and production is being hampered.

Citing a survey the minister said that rice production can be increased by 2.1 million tonnes if it is possible to ensure the supply of quality seed.

Agriculture Secretary Wahida Akhtar, Director General of International Rice Research Institute Jan Bailey, Bangladesh Representative of FAO Robert Simpson, President of Asia and Pacific Seed Association Monish Patel, General Secretary of International Seed Federation Michael Keller, among others, spoke on the opening day of seed congress.

President of Bangladesh Seed Association M Anis Ud Daula presided over the function.

Emeritus Professor Sattar Mondal of Bangladesh Agricultural University gave a presentation on the seed situation in the country.

He said, as a result of providing good quality seeds, the yield has already increased by 8-10%. If good quality seeds can be provided, it will be possible to increase the production of rice by 2.1 million tonnes per year.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Bangladesh Seed Association organized the event to encourage seed production and trading in the private sector.

This Congress will continue till February 13.

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