At present Bangladesh produces only 1 lakh bales of cotton, which meets only 2-3 percent of the garment industry's demand. To meet the growing demand of the garment industry, currently the government has to spend around $4.5 billion a year to import cotton.
The Bangladeshi government has taken up a Tk 105 crore project to increase raw cotton production, as only 3 percent of which is now collected from local producers.
The project has been approved by the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council. Through this Extended Cotton Farming Project Phase-1, an additional 7 lakh bales of cotton will be produced a year.
Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal said that the additional production will be ensured by planned cotton farming in 35 upazilas under 10 districts.
Under this project, apart from providing with high quality seeds to farmers, fertilizer, irrigation and pesticide for cultivating 60 hectares of land free of cost will be made available for the farmer. Also motivational tours and exchange visits to different countries will be arranged for selected farmers.
To support this project, at the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) meeting World Bank-funded Shiddhirganj-Maniknagar 230KV transmission line (first revised) project has been given approval.
The cotton farming project taken up by the government is expected to be completed by 2018, under which cotton will be produced in saline-prone areas of the southern region, char areas, plain lands between two hills.
If the project is implemented to the fullest, it is expected to boost cotton production and the country will be able to meet 30 percent of its demand for cotton.
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