Agriculture Minister Muhammad Abdur Razzaque yesterday asked the ministry's field offices to form teams to identify and bring fallow lands in coastal areas and the north-eastern division of Sylhet under cultivation.
"There is still a large portion of uncultivated land in Sylhet, and a study is needed to determine how much of the area could be brought under cultivation," he said at a meeting on implementing the Annual Development Programme for the farm sector.
He asked officials of the Department of Agricultural Extension to take the required measures to form teams in this regard.
The study will focus on how much of the fallow lands can be cultivated.
Razzaque also said there is scarcity of water for irrigation. But three rivers are available in Sylhet that would allow farmers to use surface water for irrigation.
The study will have to explore on how to use the river water for irrigation through pumps as well, he added.
Razzaque went onto say that rice is a staple food in Bangladesh and that the country has become self-sufficient in food production.
"The production of vegetables, maize, wheat, potato and fruits has increased a lot and yet, people still consider rice production as a major indicator for the measurement of self-sufficiency in overall food production," he said.
"So, we have to give more importance to increase the production of rice."
The programme was moderated by Md Mesbahul Islam, senior secretary of the agriculture ministry.