The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) on Tuesday approved a Tk 1400-crore project to construct 30 modern silos, aiming to increase the overall paddy storage capacity by 1.5 lakh metric tons in the country.
The approval came from an Ecnec meeting held virtually with its Chairperson and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.
Hasina joined the meeting from Ganobhaban, while ministers and officials concerned attended it from the NEC conference room.
The meeting approved a total of 10 projects involving the overall estimated cost of Tk 6,651.34 crore, said Planning Minister MA Mannan while briefing reporters after the meeting.
“Of the cost, Tk 5,219.81 crore will come from the state coffer while Tk 794.03 crore from the own funds of the organisations concerned and Tk 637.50 crore from foreign sources,” he said.
About the silo project, he said 30 steel silos would be constructed initially and later its number will be increased.
Paddy drying and preservation and other relevant facilities will be there in each 5000-MT modern silo, according to the factsheet provided by the Planning Commission.
The main objectives of the project are to raise the storage capacity by 1.5 lakh metric tons under the government management, provide farmers with fair prices through direct procurement of their rice, incorporate modern technology in the government’s food management, maintain the nutritious standard of grains for 2-3 years without using pesticide.
The Directorate General of Food under the Food Ministry will implement the project in 30 upazilas under 24 districts at an estimated cost of Tk 1400.22 crore by June 2023.
The selected upazilas or pourashavas where these silos will be constructed are Katiadi, Mirzapur, Tangail Sadar, Faridpur Sadar, Haluaghat, Melandah, Sreebardi, Brahmanbaria Sadar, Noakhali Sadar, Cumilla Sadar, Dinajpur Sadar, Birol, Thakurgaon Sadar, Boda, Hatibandha, Shibpur, Raninagar, Ishwardi, Nandigram, Sherpur, Khetlal, Kanaighat, Shayestaganj, Sunamganj Sadar, Narail Sadar, Kumarkhali, Charfashion, Patuakhali Sadar and Kalapara.
Mannan said the Prime Minister directed the authorities concerned to construct such modern silos in the country’s southern region, especially in Bhola, Patuakhali and Barguna as the production of food grains is high there.
The Prime Minister emphasised the practice of tissue culture in the country on potato seeds, vegetables and other crops to improve the quality of production and thus attain self-sufficiency in food.
During the approval of the 1st revision of BPATC’s Enhancing Training Capacity with an additional cost of Tk 348.61 crore, the Prime Minister stressed the need for extending the length of foundation (training) courses to 10 months instead of 2 to 3 months.
In reply to a question, the planning minister said the government is likely to conduct a perception survey again to determine the impacts of Covid-19.
Talking about the approval of construction of river port at Chilmari (Ramna, Jorgach, Rajibpur, Roumari and Noyahut) with Tk 235.59 crore, Mannan said the project in Chilmari would ultimately boost trade and commerce with the neighboring countries.
The other approved projects are the construction of Nolua-Baherchar 1.3-km bridge over the Pandab-Paira River on Lakshmipasha-Dumki Road in Barishal with the estimated cost of Tk 1,023.50 crore; Upgrading of Modhupur-Mymensingh national highway with Tk 1,107.17 crore; modernisation and expansion of Bangladesh College of Physicians and Surgeons with around Tk 215.43 crore; and protection of right embankment of the River Jamuna near Brahmangram-Hatpachil and adjacent areas under Shahzadpur upazila in Sirajganj and strengthening of Betil Spur-1 and Enayetpur Spur-2 with Tk 647.49 crore.
The remaining projects are the rehabilitation of Tangon barrage, Buri embankment and Bhulli embankment irrigation project under Thakurgaon district, riverbank protection and integrated water control infrastructure construction with around Tk 296.36 crore; Agriculture seed development and expansion through bio technology with Tk 72.35 crore; and Construction of Bakhrabad-Meghnaghat-Haripur gas transmission pipeline with Tk 1,304.62 crore.