More than 4000 acres of fallow land under the railway ministry will be brought under cultivation in a bid to deal with the possible food crisis induced by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The parliamentary standing committee on the railways ministry recommended preparing a strategic paper over taking initiatives concerning the matter in a meeting on 11 November.

Later, the railways ministry presented a strategic paper before the standing committee in a meeting on 22 December.  

The paper says presently 13,765 acres of railway land are on lease. There are more 3,514 acres of arable land, which will be leased for cultivation. Of them, 350.49 acres of land locate in the railway’s east zone and 3163.72 acres in the west zone. Beyond this, there are more 795 acres of unused lands which are also cultivable.

According to the strategic paper, these lands will have to be leased through auction for cultivation. Apart from this, the authorities will determine the amount of unused lands in its quarters, stations, office premises and workshop areas.

They will decide what trees and crops will be planted there, after analysing the nature, location and quality of the land. Seeds and plants will be distributed free of cost, it added.

The strategic paper also mentions to not lease the agro land for any other commercial activities.  

Chairman of parliamentary standing committee on railways, ABM Fazle Karim Chowdhury told Prothom Alo that the parliamentary committee recommended planting fruit trees and growing crops to the unused lands of railways. The ministry will work on it.