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Dhaka to host next FAO Asia-Pacific conference

Published : 04 Sep 2020 09:40 PM | Updated : 07 Sep 2020 10:46 PM

Bangladesh is going to organise the 36th Asia-Pacific regional conference of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), a specialized agency of the United Nations in 2022 for the first time since its joining FAO in 1973, said Agriculture Minister Dr Muhammad Abdur Razzaque.

He said, “Although Bangladesh became a member of the FAO in 1973, no conference has been held in the country so far. This achievement is a matter of great pride and honour for the country during this year’s centennial birthday of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.”

He also said, “The session in Dhaka will open new avenues for exchange of views and mutual cooperation on the achievements, successes, technologies and innovations of the countries of the region.”

The minister made the remarks while briefing reporters after the 35th Asia-Pacific Regional Conference of the FAO through virtually at Hotel Intercontinental in the capital on Friday. 

Agriculture Secretary Md. Nasiruzzaman, Food Secretary Dr. Mosammat Nazmanara Khanum and FAO Bangladesh Representative Robert D. Simpson was present in the event. 

During the briefing, the Minister said that China, India, Bhutan, Iran, Timor, Thailand, Philippines and Cambodia directly supported and agreed to the Bangladesh Government's proposal to hold the 36th Conference in Bangladesh. The Regional Conference of the FAO is a formal forum where the Ministers of Agriculture and other senior officials of the member countries meet to discuss the challenges and solutions in the field of food and agriculture.

The Minister further said that Bangladesh has achieved huge success in agriculture and food security in the last 40 years. Today, Bangladesh is self-sufficient in granular food despite the challenges of natural disasters, population growth, declining arable land, climate change and increasing salinity in the south. This achievement of Bangladesh is a role model and example for other member countries.

“Bhutan has organized the 35th Asia-Pacific Regional Conference this year through video conference on September 1-4. This regional conference is held every two years. More than 400 delegates from 41 of the 46 member countries of the Asia-Pacific region, including ministers, senior government officials, private sector, civil society, academia and technical experts from the food and agriculture sectors, participated,” the Minister continued. 

Abdur Razzaque said, "We are working relentlessly to continue the trend of increasing agricultural production in Bangladesh by coping with any situation including Coronavirus pandemic, cyclone Ampan, and ongoing prolonged floods. As a result, our food production continues. I hope there will be no food crisis in the country.”

The high level delegation of Bangladesh led by Muhammad Abdur Razzaque, included Food Minister Sadhan Chandra Majumder, Agriculture Secretary Md. Nasiruzzaman, Bangladesh Ambassador to Italy Abdus Sobhan Sikder, Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture Dr. Md. Abdur Rauf, Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Md. Nazrul Islam, Joint Secretary of the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock Md. Taufiqul Arif, Joint Secretary of the Department of Economic Relations Rabbi Mia, and Joint Secretary of the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change Md. Ashfaqul Islam Babul also joined the conference.