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HomeIndustry & Updates'Modern tech’ is panacea for Bangladesh's sugar output deficiency | International news

‘Modern tech’ is panacea for Bangladesh’s sugar output deficiency | International news

The country has 1.4 million tonnes of sugar deficit which can be minimised through adopting modern sugar production methods, speakers said at a workshop on Friday.

They said modern production technologies should be used from planting to harvesting of sugar crops.

The Bangladesh Sugar Crop Research Institute (BSRI) organised the training workshop on ‘modern technology for sugar crop production’ at Dhanbari in Tangail on the day.

Agriculture Minister Dr Muhammad Abdur Razzaque spoke virtually at the workshop as the chief guest, said an official release.

He said modern technology has to be used in both sugarcane production and sugarcane threshing in sugar mills to get expected production.

He said apart from sugarcane, many suitable crops could also be cultivated in sugarcane fields at a time which could help farmers raise their profits.

“Sugarcane cultivation will be profitable if some companion crops are cultivated with improved varieties developed by the BSRI. Farmers will be motivated by getting more outcomes”, he added.

BSRI presented a paper which said taking in hand per head intake of 13 kilograms of sugar and molasses annually, the country has a demand for 2.0 million tonnes of sugar or molasses of which it produces only 0.6 million tonnes.

Of the locally produced amount, sugar comprises only 0.068 million tonnes and molasses 0.53 million tonnes, it said. There is a shortage of 1.4 million tonnes which is met through import, the paper said.

BSRI Director General Dr Amzad Hossain, while presiding over the event, said more research and expansion of invented technology is needed to minimise the demand and supply gap.

He said the BSRI has already developed 48 varieties of sugarcane of which three are suitable for chewing and juice, nine are flood tolerant, 10 are waterlogging tolerant, seven are drought tolerant and six are salinity tolerant.

Besides, the organisation has also developed technology to cultivate potato, onion, garlic, cauliflower, cabbage, pulses, oil seeds, spices, etc. along with sugarcane.

He also said importance has been given in places where other crops are less cultivated for the development and expansion of cultivable varieties and technologies.

Emphasis is also being given to sugarcane cultivation in flood-prone, waterlogged, char, haor, salinity-prone and hilly areas to boost production of the crop aiming to raise sugar output, he added.

Agriculture Minister Razzaque also proposed to set up “a model sugar mill adopting modern technology” on pilot basis.

BSRI Director Samajit Kumar Pal, BSRI Jamalpur Sub-Centre Chief Scientific Officer Khandaker Mohiul Alam, Tangail Agriculture Extension Deputy Director Ahsanul Basar and Dhanbari Upazila Vice Chairman Mohammad Shamsul Huda also addressed the event.

Meanwhile, prices of sugar have increased significantly in the country in recent weeks as cost of the sweetener soared to Tk 80-84 a kg marking a 14-15 per cent hike in the last three weeks, according to the state-run Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB).

The current price is above 26 per cent higher than that of a year ago, said TCB.

Rising prices in the global market as well as existing huge import duty on the produce have contributed to a four-year high rise in sugar prices, according to the TCB.

Bangladesh is the sixth-largest sugar importer in the world with 2.0 million tonnes of import which is nearly 2.9 per cent of the global share.

The above news was originally posted on thefinancialexpress.com.bd

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