Agriculture has become a risky profession with increasing costs of farming and concerns over getting fair price of agri production, said Abdus Sattar Mandal, former vice-chancellor of the Bangladesh Agricultural University.
He made the remarks at a seminar titled "Agrarian Transition or Rural Transformation? Factors and Trends of Change in Village Bangladesh", organised by the Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS) yesterday.
BIDS Director General Binayak Sen said although the agricultural land in the country is decreasing, more than 40% of the labour force is being employed in this sector.
"The sector played an important role amid the pandemic and is now playing a major role in tackling the crisis stemming from the ongoing war," added Binayak, who also chaired the event.
Shapan Adnan, professorial research associate (Department of Development Studies) at the University of London presented the keynote essay and said, "This region has witnessed many conflicts over various issues including religion, nationality and language since the British era. Yet, there has been more economic growth than expected in the midst of these conflicts as well as the widespread prevalence of corruption."
He also pointed out that poor farmers in the rural areas are gradually becoming landless and their children are losing interest in farming.
Acknowledging the progress of the sector, Binayak Sen said that the arable lands can be used to grow three crops as well as vegetables compared to a single cultivation in the past.
"Agricultural productions in rural areas are increasing mainly due to mechanisation. For example, using power tillers, more than 90% of the land is being utilised for cultivation," he added.