Sylhet, wheat cultivation, subsistence farming, food grains, pineapples
Agriculture in Bangladesh consists mostly of subsistence farming on small farms. Per-capita output tends to be low. Rice, of which two or three crops can be grown each year, is the leading food crop in all areas and accounts for most of the cultivated area. Some 35 million metric tons were harvested in 2001, placing Bangladesh among the world’s leading producers of rice. High-yielding varieties of rice are cultivated as part of a government initiative to increase the country’s self-sufficiency in food grains. Other cereal crops, notably wheat, have grown in importance since the 1980s, and the area of land under wheat cultivation continues to increase. Pulses, an important source of protein in most Bangladeshi diets, are also cultivated. Other crops include various oilseeds (mainly for cooking oil), potatoes, sweet potatoes, sugarcane, bananas, mangoes, and pineapples.
The principal cash, or export, crop is jute (a plant used to make burlap and twine), grown throughout the annually flooded portions of the Ganges-Brahmaputra delta; the amount of jute harvested in 2001 was about 712,000 metric tons. Tea, also a valuable cash crop, is grown almost exclusively in the northeast, around Sylhet. Cattle and buffalo are numerous, raised for dung (a source of fuel), hides (for leather), and meat.
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