It is possible to increase the production of wheat by 14.2% with the help of technical efficiency and efficient use of land, said a study.
Sourav Mohan Saha, lecturer of the Department of Agricultural Economics, Khulna Agricultural University, presented the study titled “Land Utilisation in Wheat Production of Bangladesh: What Affects Farmers’ Efficiency?” at the 6th Sanem Annual Economists Conference on Saturday.
The study said despite being the second most popular cereal in Bangladesh and continuous increase in demand, wheat production has gradually been declining and the country has to depend on imported wheat.
Fertiliser and labourer costs account for the bulk of the cost of wheat production.
The researcher said he had collected data from 160 farmers in Panchagarh and Thakurgaon as according to the 2021 data from the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics, the highest amount of wheat, 22.4%, is produced in these areas.
Researcher Sourav Mohan Saha said the amount of cultivable land is shrinking gradually. As farmers do not get the expected return from wheat production, they are inclining towards boro paddy production. Losses in wheat production lower earnings, which affects families.
Training programmes on scientific land and resource management among farmers should be covered along with increasing their organisational involvement through cooperatives, NGOs, extension offices, etc to enhance the skills of these farmers.
The demand for wheat in Bangladesh is 70-75 lakh tonnes per year, while the local production is only 10-12 lakh tonnes. The rest is imported to meet the demand.