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Agri Biz

‘Ratno’ Field Day Yields Improved Results




On Sunday, May 14th, ACI Fertilizer conducted a productive field day to demonstrate the effectiveness of ‘Ratno’ Fertilizer. Helal Uddin, a farmer who participated in the event held in Krishnanagar, Sunamganj, witnessed a significant increase in crop yield after implementing ‘Ratno’ fertilizer on his Boro Rice fields.

The event, organized by ACI Fertilizer, welcomed Business Director and Agriculturist Bashir Ahmed as the chief guest. Sub-Assistant Agriculture Officer Bikash Kumar Talukdar and Md. Al Amin Hossain graced the occasion as a special guest. The event was presided over by Md. Amir Ali, the owner of the renowned local fertilizer trader, M/S Amir Enterprises, while the welcome speech was delivered by Md. Asadur Rahman, Marketing Manager of ACI Fertilizer.

As the market becomes increasingly competitive, farmers are continuously seeking solutions that guarantee higher yields while minimizing costs. ‘Ratno’ Fertilizer stands as a balanced fertilizer, ensuring proper nutrient supply for the soil.

‘Ratno,’ an NPKS Fertilizer, effectively addresses the deficiency of four essential crop nutrients in a well-balanced manner. By using a single fertilizer instead of multiple ones, transportation and field application become more convenient, leading to cost savings in both areas. This eliminates the need for separate applications of other fertilizers like urea, DAP, TSP, MOP, and sulfur.

‘Ratno’ Fertilizer helps maintain soil quality by reducing excessive or disproportionate use of chemical fertilizers. With a balanced supply of essential nutrients, plants grow healthily and properly, thus reducing their vulnerability to crop diseases and pests.

ACI Fertilizer’s Business Director, Agriculturist Bashir Ahmed, emphasized that ACI Ratno Fertilizer is enriched with four essential nutrients for plants, namely nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and sulfur. Rigorous quality control ensures the fertilizers’ quick and long-lasting effects on the soil.

Marketing Manager Md. Asadur Rahman shared the recommended usage guidelines for Ratno Fertilizer. For general crops, a dosage of 50 to 60 kg per bigha (33 cents) or 1.5 to 2 kg per century should be applied during the final cultivation or as per the crop’s specific requirements. In the case of fruit and other trees, 300 to 500 grams should be sprinkled around the tree during planting, and 1 to 2 kg should be mixed with the soil twice a year for mature trees.

Md. Helal Uddin, an exemplary farmer from the upazila, achieved a significant increase of 4.5 maunds of paddy per bigha compared to conventional methods by using Ratno Fertilizer on his paddy fields.

During the field day, ACI Fertilizer’s Assistant Manager, Product Development Agriculturist Jahidul Islam, Zonal Sales Manager Md. Sohal Rana, MSO Md. Zahid Hossain and approximately three hundred local farmers were present to observe and learn from the demonstration.

This successful field day showcased the immense potential of Ratno Fertilizer in enhancing crop productivity, reaffirming ACI Fertilizer’s commitment to providing effective and sustainable solutions to farmers.

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Agri Biz

Govt Plans 10% Annual Growth in Agriculture by 2025-26




The Bangladesh government has allocated Tk 385 billion for agricultural development over the next three years, aiming for an average annual growth of 10% in the sector by the 2025-26 fiscal year. This investment underscores agriculture’s crucial role in ensuring food security and driving equitable economic growth, according to the ‘Medium Term Macroeconomic Policy Statement (2023-24 to 2025-26)’.

Despite its declining share in GDP, agriculture remains vital for the livelihoods of the majority, especially in rural areas. To enhance food production and resilience against challenges, the government’s strategy includes developing high-yield and adversity-tolerant crop varieties, expanding mechanization and irrigation, and improving access to affordable inputs such as seeds and fertilizers.

The policy document highlights various initiatives aimed at modernizing agriculture through technology. These include prioritizing surface water over groundwater for irrigation to conserve resources, integrating renewable energy solutions, and utilizing remote sensing for crop monitoring.

The government continues to support the sector through subsidies, financial incentives, and technological innovations to establish a sustainable and self-reliant agricultural framework.

The fisheries and livestock sub-sectors also make significant contributions, accounting for 2.53% and 1.91% of GDP, respectively, while providing essential protein sources and livelihoods for over 12% of the population. Achievements in these areas include achieving self-sufficiency in fish, meat, and egg production, with milk production expected to follow suit. Moreover, these sectors play a crucial role in foreign exchange earnings through exports.

Looking ahead, the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries plans to launch development projects to enhance production capacities, adopt advanced management technologies, and improve conservation efforts, particularly for young hilsa fish (‘jatka’).

Water resource management is another focal point, given its importance for sustainable agriculture. Initiatives are underway to improve surface water availability by excavating water bodies and enhancing coastal afforestation to secure equitable water shares from transboundary rivers.

With climate change posing significant economic risks, projected to reduce GDP by 6.8% by 2030, the government has prioritized comprehensive strategies to mitigate these impacts. The Mujib Climate Prosperity Plan aims to equip vulnerable sectors and communities with tools to enhance resilience and stability against climate-related disruptions.

Through these multifaceted efforts, Bangladesh is taking decisive steps to safeguard and advance its agricultural heritage amidst evolving global challenges.

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Agri Biz

IFC Invests $30mn in PRAN to Bolster Bangladesh’s Food Industry




The International Finance Corporation (IFC) is investing US$30 million in Pran Dairy Limited (PDL) and Habiganj Agro Limited (HAL), both part of the PRAN Group, a leading player in the food and beverage industry (F&B) in Bangladesh. This investment aims to support severely impacted businesses, particularly those reliant on imports for raw materials. The goal is to enhance the resilience of the food processing market, create jobs, foster gender diversity, and strengthen the economy.

This marks the first time IFC’s USD term loans will be utilized for working capital purposes in Bangladesh. These funds will enable PDL and HAL to sustain their operations, increase exports, and preserve over 30,000 jobs, as stated in a press release today. Additionally, IFC will assist PRAN Group in enhancing women’s participation and inclusion in the workplace through relevant policies and practices. The F&B sector plays a crucial role in Bangladesh’s economy, accounting for about 13 percent of manufacturing production value and employing 19 percent of the industrial manufacturing workforce, with a projected compound annual growth rate of 12 percent.

However, challenges such as foreign exchange shortages, high energy prices, and power shortages have disrupted the import of raw materials and constrained local commercial banks’ lending capacity. In response, IFC’s longer-term US dollar financing aims to improve access to foreign exchange, helping Bangladeshi companies navigate the crisis.

Uzma Chowdhury, director (Finance) of PRAN-RFL Group, emphasized the importance of regular access to US dollars for a net importer like PRAN Group. Given the current shortage, accessing USD funds for working capital has been challenging. IFC’s provision of scarcely available US dollar working capital will ensure the long-term stability of the company’s operations and contribute to the country’s economic stability.

As part of its advisory services, IFC will also support PRAN Group in developing the company’s smallholder sourcing supply chain in Bangladesh and identifying opportunities to decarbonize its agro-processing operations, among other initiatives.

Martin Holtmann, IFC country manager for Bangladesh, Bhutan, and Nepal, reiterated IFC’s commitment to supporting clients during crises. He stated that IFC’s financing aims to alleviate the lack of access to foreign exchange while promoting private sector growth in Bangladesh. This investment is expected to enhance food security, prioritize support for strategically important industries, diversify Bangladesh’s export base, create jobs, expand market opportunities, and enhance economic resilience.

Since 2010, IFC has invested over US$3.8 billion to help the private sector grow in Bangladesh.

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Agri Biz

Mango Season Signals Prosperous Harvest in Rajshahi & Chapainawabganj




The mango formation process is progressing smoothly in Rajshahi and Chapainawabganj districts, signaling the imminent arrival of the beloved juicy fruit within the next couple of months, thanks to favorable climatic conditions.

Fruit setting is advancing well, with many mango trees already displaying visually appealing appearances in orchards, gardens, and homestead areas.

The Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) reports abundant buds in the new mango orchards of Naogaon this year, although fewer buds have appeared on the larger trees in Rajshahi and Chapainawabganj. Mango cultivation spans across 93 thousand hectares of land in Naogaon, Rajshahi, and Chapainawabganj.

According to DAE Additional Director Mahmudul Faruque, over 50 percent of the buds have transitioned into pods in the region. In Rajshahi, 65 percent of mango buds are currently pea-sized, while 35 percent are marble-sized.

Dr. Shafiqul Islam, principal scientific officer of the Fruit Research Station, attributes the reduced bud count this year to last year’s bumper crop, resulting in less food storage in the trees. However, this decline in production is expected to yield larger mangoes of superior quality.

He notes a delayed appearance of buds on trees due to an extended winter, with buds emerging later than usual, primarily in late February.

An irregular distribution of buds is also observed, with some trees exhibiting full coverage while neighboring trees remain bare, with only new leaves emerging. This pattern extends to individual trees, where one branch may be adorned with buds while others remain barren.

Mango grower Shafiqul Islam Sana expresses disappointment as fewer buds have appeared on trees compared to last year, attributing some bud loss to hailstorms. Despite this setback, he remains hopeful for a fruitful harvest.

Upazila Agriculture Officer Shafiullah Sultan highlights the potential for better quality mangoes if at least 20 percent of the pea-sized pods survive, emphasizing the importance of proper orchard care and pest control.

Similar conditions are reported in Charghat upazila, where farmers observe leaves but few mango pods on their trees. Despite challenges, proactive measures such as pesticide spraying are being undertaken to ensure successful mango production.

With a proactive approach, mango grower Abdur Razzak is diligently caring for his trees, noting pod appearances on a significant portion of his orchard.

Yadul Islam, who rents mango trees within the field of Bangladesh Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, reports good bud formation this year, expressing optimism about meeting mango production targets with proper care and management despite natural challenges.

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