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ACI Agribusinesses vows to provide complete, innovative solution for farmers

downloadACI Agribusinesses, a business division of the Advanced Chemical Industries (ACI) Ltd, is working to provide complete and innovative solution to the problems of farmers, enabling them to achieve ‘prosperity’, not only ‘food security’, through the agriculture.

“We are doing massive research with various universities and institutions at home and abroad to innovate high yield varieties (HYV) of different crops and seeds as suitable to the region-wise climate and soil nature,” Dr FH Ansarey, Executive Director of the ACI Agribusinesses, told the FE in an interview recently.

Currently, ACI Agribusinesses provides solutions and products in the areas of seed, fertilizer, crop care, motors, poultry and animal health and cropex (facilitating sale of grain).

The Agribusiness believes and works towards the vision “agriculture for prosperity”, taking the farmers’ aspiration one step ahead from the current target “food security”.

Elaborating the theme, Mr Ansarey said, “Prosperity is having surplus fund at the farmers after ensuring food security; with surplus, they will be able to send their children to school, take health facilities, repair homes, wear proper dresses and participate in the social arrangements.”

If the farmers can achieve prosperity, it will spread to all the villages and gradually to the whole country, making highest contribution to the national economy, since about 70 per cent population of the country is connected to the sector, he said.

“Though the garment sector brought foreign currency significantly, it is accumulated to some top class people and does not improve living standard of the general workers. Rather, the agriculture is an effective tool to make the larger population of the country ‘financially solvent’ and educate them effectively in the long run,” he said.

Mr Ansarey, however, sees ‘very meager amount’ of fund for research and development (R&D) activities and lack of policy support from the government in agriculture as the major challenges to take the sector forward.

He urged the government to give necessary supports, such as bank loans at lower interest rate, to the agri companies in the private sector for setting up infrastructure and doing researches on different issues including high yield genetic seed, cultivation, cost of price etc.

“If the government provides proper policy support and sufficient fund especially for research activities, the agriculture can totally reverse the economy and the larger export will be from the agriculture,” said Mr FH Ansarey having 33-year professional experience in the agriculture sector.

The current production of 30 million metric tons of rice could be raised to 60 million tons per year, enabling the country to export rice and earn huge foreign currency, he said.

The government policy support does not mean giving just subsidy; rather, separate policies should have in every particular areas of the agriculture such as fertilizer, region-wise crop, aqua and cattle etc.

For instance, he continued, when prone is cultivated we talked about damaging the land by salinity. But when it is produced outstandingly and exported, we became happy to see the foreign earnings. So, we should specify both the amount of land and extend of salinity for such cultivation.

The matter is also same for fish, cattle and different crops.

Thereafter, it’s needed to provide necessary genetic, technological, communication, infrastructural and other supports to the farmers.

To carry the researches’ output to the farmers shortly, he stressed on developing very strong communication and demonstration system.

Regarding the seed industry, he said the government made a fantastic seed policy in 2005, but the seed rules don’t conform to the policy, breaking the level playing field between the public and private sectors.

For developing a sustainable seed industry in the country, Mr Ansarey urged the government to encourage the private sectors giving them necessary supports to conduct researches and set up infrastructure including seed godown.

However, as part of its works to facilitate the farmers to achieve prosperity through agriculture, Agribusiness is now working to start manufacturing small engine, used for different agricultural machineries, in 2015 locally. As a first company in Bangladesh, it also started molecular breading programme.

ACI Agribusiness is also doing massive research with a university in Sweden, and hoped to bring an appropriate variety of wheat for Bangladesh within the next four to five years. Along with another research with the Bangbandhu Agriculture University here on paddy, the business is also working on tomato, potato and other crops.

At an innovation centre of its R&D station, the ACI Agribusiness is breeding plants; it is also innovating seeds with the Bogra RDA.

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Report: Mohammad Ali

Source: Financial Express

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