With a total population of approximately 150 million living in an area of 147,570 square kilometers, Bangladesh has predominantly an agra rian economy. Agriculture is the single largest production sector of the economy employs around 52% of the total labour force though it contributes around 20% of the country’s GDP and earns about 14% of foreign currency (BER, 2010).
Only three decades ago the lion share of the GDP used to come from agriculture. In 1971-72 the contribution of agriculture to GDP was about 50% while the contribution of industry & service sector was only 14% & 36% respectively. But, in 2009-10 the contribution of agriculture has gone down to 20% while the contribution of industry and service sector has gone up to 30% and 50% respectively.
This scenario doesn’t indicate the diminishing importance of agriculture for the development of the country but unveils the negligence or lack of foresight of the national policy makers towards agriculture over last four decades though, still today, the performance of this sector has an overwhelming impact on major macroeconomic objectives like employment generation, poverty alleviation, food s
ecurity etc. of the country that seems to be understood again by the present government. As a result, agriculture is getting back its importance to the policy makers to some extent.