Dhaka, Dec 14 (bdnews24.com) – The World Bank Friday offered assistance in the government's agricultural rehabilitation programmes in the Sidr-ravaged regions.
Praful C Patel, the bank's South Asia vice president, made the offer at a two-hour meeting with agriculture adviser CS Karim at noon.
"The World Bank has undertaken a number of rehabilitation programmes for the Sidr-affected farmers in the south, involving crop production, imports of food grains and house building chiefly," Patel told reporters after the meeting.
He said he discussed with adviser how the bank could help the government to get over the farm losses.
The bank will do its best when the ongoing donors' assessment of the damages will be done and information disseminated towards end-January, Patel added.
"The poverty alleviation programmes undertaken by the government in the Sidr-affected regions will be hampered. But a three-pronged coordinated approach combining the government, donors and NGOs could possibly help recover the losses," Karim told reporters.
Rice production will suffer a nearly 1.4 million tonnes shortfall because of the recurrent floods and the cyclone, the adviser said.
The government has initiated hybrid-rice farming in the stricken regions, he said.
The hybrid rice production in the south may lead to harvesting of about 7.5 to 9 lakh tonnes of rice at the end of the season and the shortfall will have to imported, Karim said.
The adviser said the government would supply the affected farmers with fish fries, vegetable and lentil seeds through integrating and coordinating NGO interventions.
The government would also provide farmers with grants and agriculture loans, as necessary, he said.