675Published on April 3, 2022
During the 2001-06 BNP-Jamaat government, farmers in the villages could not buy fertilizers due to the syndicate formed by BNP Prime Minister Khaleda Zia’s son Tarique and his aides. As a result, crop production was reduced and left three to four crores of marginalized farmers starving all day. Taking the advantages, BNP men started an imprest system to make the farmers impoverished. Even the BNP miscreants looted hundreds of thousands of sacks of fertilizer from the Fenchuganj Fertilizer Factory. A Chhatra Dal leader was killed in an internal conflict over the share of money from the scam.
Unable to cultivate due to lack of fertilizer, farmers blocked roads and highways in Satkhira, Narail, Meherpur, Khulna, Rangpur and Rajshahi with coffins and shrouds. But the BNP government deployed its party hooligans to carry out inhumane torture on ordinary farmers. At least 12 farmers were shot dead in different parts of the country including Kurigram and Jamalpur. Boro and Iri cultivation were greatly hampered in Bangladesh due to a lack of fertilizer.
However after the Awami League government came to power, their primary focus was to improve the fortunes of the farmers. From the financial year 2008-09 till now, the government has disbursed incentives of Tk 827.17 crores among 74,54,313 farmers in different agricultural programmes. Under the instruction of Bangabandhu’s daughter Sheikh Hasina, around Tk 20,000 crores were subsidized in 2021 to provide fertilizers and hybrid seeds to the farmers at affordable prices. Smart cards for agricultural materials assistance have been issued to 2 crores 8 lakh 13 thousand and 46 farmers.
The Awami League government has provided an opportunity for farmers to open bank accounts only at Tk. 10. More than 11 million farmers are now availing these bank services. Farmers are now getting loans interest-free and low-interest loans for farming. As a result, the fate of marginal farmers is changing and their next generation is being enlightened with the light of education.
Farmers no longer have to agitate for fertilizers, seeds and electricity as their lives are improving with the development of the country. Today, Bangladesh ranks fourth in the world in paddy production and third in vegetable production. Even the poorest man in the village is leading a better life with food and other basic needs today. Moreover, the Awami League leaders and activists, under the direction of the Hon’ble Prime Minister, are joining together with farmers to mitigate the labour crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The government also ensured special grants and incentives for the farmers.
Bangladesh will survive if the farmers smile. That is why the people's leader Sheikh Hasina tried to play the highest role in changing the days of the farmers. Now it is time to strengthen self-reliance by using digitalized facilities. Please make proper use of government initiatives and say Joy Bangla to march towards prosperity