Opportunities and Constraints of Agriculture in Bangladesh

The opportunities and constraints prevailing in the agricultural sector of Bangladesh are as follows:

Opportunities:

Agricultural sector is the single largest contributor to GDP.

Crop production system is highly labor intensive and there is an abundance of labor in the country.

Agriculture is the largest source of employment for skilled and unskilled labor.

Favorable natural environment generally exists throughout the year for crop production.

Wide range of bio-diversity exists for different crops.

Different crops and agricultural commodities are the main sources of nutrition including protein, minerals and vitamins. Agricultural commodities have comparatively higher value addition than non-agricultural commodities.

 Constraints:

Agriculture is dependent on the vagaries of nature and is risky.

Availability of cultivable land is decreasing.

Widespread poverty among the population engaged in agriculture.

Lack of required capital for agricultural activities.

Inadequacy of appropriate technology considering farmers socio-economic conditions.

Uncertainty of fair price of agricultural commodities due to underdeveloped marketing system.

Agricultural commodities are rapidly perishable and post harvest losses are too high.

Limited knowledge of common people about the nutritional value of agricultural commodities including vegetables and fruits.

Objectives & Functions of the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA)

The Ministry of Agriculture is the highest central body of the government in the agriculture sector coordinating and supervising the activities of all the Agricultural Institutes and Directorates all over the country. The development objectives and functions of the MOA are as follows:

Serves as a national coordinating and supervising apex body for planning, integration and implementation of agriculture policies and related projects.

Establish policies, regulations and projects that will ensure sustainable food production.

Achieve self sufficiency in food grain production through a sustainable growth in rice and wheat production.

Achieve increasing and profitable production of minor crops and thereby maintain a balanced crop production.

Increase rural employment through the adoption of modern agricultural practices.

Achieve low and stable consumer food prices and improve the nutritional status of the population.

Develop food production that is suitable and sustainable.

Establish macroeconomics policies that enable farmers to be responsive to domestic and world market opportunities.

Provide high quality infrastructure and government services that will enable farmers to produce and market products at low cost.

Rely on competitive markets to supply agricultural inputs at low cost.

Provide incentives to establish labor intensive production and processing agro-based industries.

The numbers of ongoing projects under the Ministry are at present 92 of which 28 are scheduled to be completed in June 2000.

Organogram of Ministry of Agriculture

The Ministry through its different wings is responsible for the administration and financial supervision, policy directives and monitoring, to carry out various activities of different institutes, directorates and agencies under the ministry.