The prices of vegetables has soared in the market because of intermediaries and untimely rains, said Agriculture Secretary Md Saidul Islam on Sunday.
He said that the prices of vegetables go up from time to time due to different circumstances.
“I have taken an action by connecting the district administration and the agriculture marketing department. After conducting research, we will know the exact reasons,” he told a press conference at the Secretariat.
The official said the agriculture ministry is working on the vegetable prices. “We are also doing a study on why vegetable prices are rising.”
“However, the information we have been getting so far is that the main reason for the rise in prices is always the intermediaries. We buy the vegetables at Tk 60-70 per kg here which cost around Tk 10-20 in Palashbari of Gaibandha,” he added.
Secondly, there have been two unseasonal rains this year, specifically the December rain, which caused great damage to the vegetables, the secretary said.
The secretary said vegetable cultivation had been hampered by cyclone ‘Jawad’ in December this year.
“For this, we have taken an action by connecting the district administration and the agriculture marketing department to identify the intermediaries and take some measures against them to keep the price of vegetables at a tolerable level,” he said.
However, there was no shortage of production. But the farmers had to cultivate vegetables for the second time which has cost those more.
He said, “Rising farming costs seem to be another reason for the rise in prices. Overall, we are conducting research on the whole subject.”
National Vegetable Fair starting from Monday
The three-day National Vegetable Fair 2022 will begin next Monday at the premises of Krishibid Institution Bangladesh (KIB) in Farmgate of the capital, said Saidul Islam.
Agriculture Minister Dr Muhammad Abdur Razzaque will inaugurate the fair.
The fair, which is being held for the 6th time organized by the agriculture ministry, will continue till March 2 from 10 am to 8 pm.
There will be 52 government and non-government organizations’ stalls in the fair.
The secretary said that the theme of this year is 'Safe Vegetable Cultivation, Health-Nutrition for Twelve Months'.
The fifth fair was organized in January 2020 where vegetables worth Tk 3 lakh were sold.
The agriculture secretary said vegetable cultivation has increased almost seven times in the last 12 years.
According to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Bangladesh is now the third largest producer of vegetables in the world. China and India have occupied the first two spots of the list respectively.
Around 13.29 per cent of GDP comes from agriculture sector. The country now cultivates 100 species of vegetables.
According to the Department of Agricultural Extension, in FY2020-21, 1,97,18,000 tonnes of vegetables were cultivated in 9,35,000 hectares of land.
In the previous year, 1,84,47,000 tonnes of vegetables were cultivated in nine lakh hectares of land, said the secretary.