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Haor farmers to get free agri inputs for next crop: PM

 

Issuing a note of warning that no one will be spared if any negligence is found in haor embankment construction, prime minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday said haor farmers will get free agricultural inputs for the next crop.

‘The government is not only providing relief materials to the flood-hit people, it’ll also distribute all necessary agricultural inputs free of cost for their next crop,’ she told a civic gathering in Sunamganj.

Sheikh Hasina is now in the district to see the flood-affected areas where Boro crops on over two lakh hectares of land were damaged, causing a colossal loss to the livelihood, fish and livestock of farmers.

The prime minister arrived at Shaheed Ali Model High School ground in Shalla upazila by a helicopter.

About irregularities in embankment construction, Sheikh Hasina said, ‘If there’s any negligence in embankment construction, we’ll surely take action against them. We’re very much aware of that.’

She said her government will provide seeds and fertiliser and other agri inputs that are needed for the next crop in the affected areas.

The prime minister also said the bank interest rate for the haor areas has been slashed by half, and suspended the collection process. ‘State-run banks have already decided to reduce the interest rate by half.’

Hasina said the government will appoint dealers at the union level in the haor areas to operate open market sale for food grains. ‘We’ll ensure food security with this system,’ she said.

The prime minister asked the food minister to take immediate steps in this regard.

Agriculture minister Matia Chowdhury, food minister Qamrul Islam, water resources minister Anisul Islam Mahmud, state minister for finance MA Mannan and state minister for water resources Nazrul Islam are accompanying the prime minister.

According to a primary official estimate, over eight lakh people in the country’s haor belt have been affected as 6.5 lakh tonnes of Boro crops have gone under water due to flash floods, with Sunamganj being the worst-hit one. The other affected districts are Sylhet, Moulvibazar, Habiganj, Netrakona, Kishoreganj and Brahmanbaria.

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