Bangladesh's rice production has been more than doubled in the last three decades, increasing from 11 million tons in 1975 to 25 million tons in 2003, a 3.3 percent growth per year, official news agency BSS reported Sunday.
Cereal production more then doubled from 11.5 million tons in 1975 to 27 million tons in 2003, a 3.8 percent growth per year, according to a recent World Bank report titled "Promoting the rural non-farm sector in Bangladesh-05."
The report detected three major reasons behind this huge growth: biological yield per hectare doubled between 1975 and 2002; use of shallow tube-well irrigation pumps as irrigated area increased from 2.8 million hectares to 4 million hectares; and adoption of mechanical tillage, allowing more timely cultivation and increased labor productivity.
In the early 1970s, there were about 26,000 irrigation pumps in the country whereas it is now 853,728 all together. On the other hand, in the late 1980s, there were only about 3,000 power tillers but the number rose to nearly 240,000 currently, the report said.
The expansion of agriculture sector has also generated a massive pace in rural non-farm growth, making 42 percent of total rural employment. The report indicated that nearly half of household income in rural areas is generated in the various non- farm activities including manufacturing and maintenance services, inputs and grain trade, crop and food processing, and rural transport.