People are increasing at an alarming rate. And because of this, there is a huge demand for food. To meet this demand, government and research institutes are constantly working to produce more productive seeds and food grains. Agricultural mechanization has begun. 'Mobile Crop Clinic' is going to be a new addition to Bangladesh's agriculture and development. It will chase the farmers. Will give necessary services and advice to farmers. This is what the project officials said.
According to Directorate of Agricultural Extension (DAE) sources, the project titled Agriculture and Rural Transformation for Nutrition Entrepreneurship and Resilience (Partner) will be implemented in 495 upazilas of 64 districts. Next July to June 2028 period. Estimated expenditure is around 6 thousand 911 crores. Out of this government funding is 1 thousand 151 crore 13 lakh taka. 5 thousand 759 crore 80 lakh taka (543 million dollars; IDA- 500 million and IFAD- 43 million) will come as project aid. Under this project, 253 vehicles with modern agricultural facilities will be purchased in 239 upazilas and 14 agricultural regions of the country.
Shakhawat Hossain Sharif, the related officer of the project, said that through the crop clinic service, the agricultural extension workers in the upazilas will appear in the farmer's field and provide the farmers with information related to crop diseases and insect control. Apart from this, other services including immediate detection of adulterated fertilizers, soil sampling, seed testing, and emergency crop surveillance and forecasting will be provided.
Under the partner project, agricultural services will be delivered to the doorstep of farmers in 239 upazilas of the country. For this purpose, a total of 253 'Mobile Crop Clinic Vans' will be procured including 239 and 14 in agricultural areas. About 70 lakh rupees have been allocated to buy each car. This vehicle or 'Mobile Crop Clinic Van' will be procured through international tender. About 177 crore rupees have been allocated for this purpose.
Shakhawat Hossain Sharif also said that the 'mobile crop clinic van' will run only if there is a disease in the crops in the remote areas of the upazila or if the farmer needs any service. It is a special type of customized vehicle, which includes mini soil testing lab, pest identification kit, disease diagnosis kit, seed testing equipment and sample collection and storage facilities.
According to DA sources, the project will play an important role in the implementation of the SDGs, future plans and Delta Plan-2100, including the implementation of the National Agricultural Policy-2018 action plan (2020) and the Good Agricultural Practices Policy 2010, in the transformation of the agricultural sector into commercial agriculture, including ensuring food security in the country.
Notable activities of this mega project include enhancement of three lakh hectares of fruit and vegetable arable land through Good Agricultural Practices certification; Increase of 400,000,000 arable lands including development of new varieties of high-yielding rice and non-rice grain crops resistant to climate shocks; Use of advanced and efficient irrigation technologyBringing one lakh hectares of new arable land under irrigation through; Various programs including 'Krishak Smart Card' to 2 crore 27 lakh 53 thousand 321 farmer families across the country in order to build Smart Bangladesh.
The seven agencies of the Ministry of Agriculture are Directorate of Agricultural Extension-DAE (Lead Agency), Directorate of Agricultural Marketing (DAM), Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council (BARC), Bangladesh Agricultural Development Corporation (BADC), Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI), Bangladesh Rice Research Institute respectively. (BRRI) and Varendra MultipurposeDevelopment Authority (BMDA) will implement this mega project.Badal Chandra Biswas, director general of the Department of Agricultural Extension, said that due to the current reality, including the Ukraine-Russia war, vehicles could not be provided to all upazila agricultural offices. But we are trying to deliver the car quickly.
Hopefully, in the recently passed Ekneke partner project, an allocation has been kept for buying a vehicle (mobile crop clinic van).