Natural calamities such as storms, flash floods and landslides have caused serious damage to the cultivation of various crops across the country, while vast swathes of agricultural lands have been inundated, he said in a media briefing at the Secretariat on Wednesday.
"The Ministry of Agriculture made extensive preparations as soon as the flood forecast was received. Everyone, including field officials, was alert. Farmers were given the necessary advice to reduce the damage to crops."
"In total, crops worth Tk 13.23 billion across 37 districts were damaged by the floods. About 257,148 hectares of cropland were submerged, while crops on 158,814 hectares of land were destroyed," he added.
Over 1.2 million farmers have been affected by the floods.
Besides, vegetables worth Tk 2.35 billion and jute worth Tk 2.11 billion were also damaged by the floods, he said.
Crops on 41,918 hectares of land across 14 districts were damaged during the first wave of flooding from Jun 25 to Jul 9.
At least 343,575 farmers were left counting heavy losses while crops worth Tk 3.39 billion were destroyed, the agriculture minister said.
“The second and third phases of floods from Jul 11 to Aug 12 ruined 34 types of crops worth Tk 9.74 billion on 116,896 hectares across 37 districts. It also affected 9,29,139 farmers,” he said.
The Ministry of Agriculture has announced various incentive packages to help the flood-affected farmers get back on their feet.
Under the Tk 175 million Agriculture Rehabilitation Programme, the government has distributed free vegetable seeds among 239,631 farmers, said Razzaque.
“In the districts which were hit hardest by the floods, the government is preparing community seedbeds where seedlings worth Tk 1.5 million will be produced and distributed among 35,166 farmers in 33 districts. The seedbeds were already set up on 525 hectares of land," he added.