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Bangladesh's farmers to sell sugarcane through SMS

29 December 2010

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Bangladesh has launched the e-purji system wherein, sugarcane growers shall be issued permits through SMS to sell sugarcane. This will reduce corruption by eliminating middlemen from the process.

Dhaka: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has called upon entrepreneurs to invest more in agro-based and other small and medium industries.

Bangladesh's farmers to sell sugarcane through SMS
Image credit: Digital Bangladesh/ A sugarcane grower in Bangladesh

Hasina made the remarks when she inaugurated a digitised 'e-purji' system at her office yesterday.

E-purji system - jointly implemented by the Prime Minister's Office-run Access to Information programme (A2I) and UNDP - is the issuance of permit through Short Message Service (SMS) to the growers for selling sugarcane to the 15 state-owned sugar mills.

The Prime Minister opened the programme by sending SMSes by mobile phone to 40 sugarcane growers.

She talked to the sugarcane growers through online video chat in Natore from her office.

From now on, some 2.5 lakh growers across Bangladesh will no more depend on middlemen to sell their sugarcane to mills; they will get a fair price, and there will be less chances of corruption.

Under the new e-purji system, sugarcane growers will be issued permits through SMS, while information on bills will also be sent to them through SMS.

“From now on, the farmers will get the purji within seconds,” the Prime Minister said.

Regarding the investment in small and medium industries, Hasina said Bangladesh is still an agriculture-based country. "So investment in larger volume is a must for sustainable development," she said.

The Prime Minister directed the authorities concerned to introduce multi-purpose economic activities in the state-owned sugar mills to save these from getting ruined.

She also requested researchers to produce seeds of sugarcane which will produce sugar of higher quantity and quality.

Besides, she said the government has taken initiative to set up two sugar refineries, a second distillery and compost fertiliser factory at Keru and Company.

Industries Minister Dilip Barua, A2I programme's project director Nazrul Islam Khan, UNDP's Resident Representative in Dhaka Stefan Priesner, Chairman of Bangladesh Sugar and Food Industries Corporation Ranjit Kumar Biswas and sugarcane growers' representative Akram Hossain Miah also addressed the function.

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