"To assess the challenges and investment priorities of the government and development partners, agricultural transformation in southern Bangladesh is considered extremely important", said experts while addressing a workshop.
They also opined that the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development clearly marks the path to prosperity.
Focusing on agriculture transformation as a huge priority, the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations with the Ministry of Agriculture organized the consultation workshop on "Investment for Agricultural Transformation in Bangladesh” in Barisal with participation of officials from extension, research, private sector and producers organizations’ representatives.
They said the southern region of Bangladesh accounts for about a third of the country's landmass and is home to more than 35 million people. About half of the southern zone is open to the sea. It also has a distinct water management system and cropping patterns than the rest of Bangladesh.
Strengthening agricultural production and income opportunities through agricultural transformation reduces poverty, ensures sustainable food security, and improves livelihoods for deprived communities in climate-variable locations.
In order to achieve transformation in food and agriculture systems, FAO introduced a holistic approach to agri-food system coordination, which demands complementary efforts from relevant sectors.
FAO with the Ministry of Agriculture is engaging stakeholders on food and agriculture transformation processes throughout the key sectors and geographic areas of the country using multi-level consultative and participatory techniques.
The consultation workshop was organized to identity priorities and investments areas, which are vital to farmers and food producers to transform the agriculture in southern Bangladesh.
As part of FAO's Hand in Hand (HiH) programmes, an 'Investment Forum' will be hosted at FAO Headquarters from October 17 to 19, 2022. Fifteen countries will exchange investment ideas centred on areas with significant agricultural potential at the sub/national level.
Several workshops, including this one, have been scheduled as part of the buildup to the Investment Forum event October 2022.
Robert D. Simpson, FAO Representative in Bangladesh added “The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development clearly marks the path to prosperity. To leave no one behind, transformative action is required, adopting sustainable principles and addressing the core causes of poverty and hunger. Sustainable agriculture growth must be a part of this agenda.”
Dr. Muhammad Abdur Razzaque, Minister of Agriculture, was present at the event as Chief Guest while Dr. Debasish Sarker, Director General, Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute, Dr. Md. Shahjahan Kabir, Director General, Bangladesh Rice Research Institute, Md Amin ul Ahsan Divisional Commissioner (Additional Secretary) Barisal, Md Benojir Alam, Director General, Department of Agricultural Extension, Bolai Krishna Hajra, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and A F M Hayatullah, Chairman, Bangladesh Agricultural Development Corporation were among the special guest of the event.
The occasion was presided over by Md. Sayedul Islam, Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture and Robert D. Simpson, FAO Representative in Bangladesh was present as the guest of honor.