National, Front Page

FAO inks new 5-yr prog with Bangladesh

Published : 25 May 2022 09:20 PM | Updated : 25 May 2022 09:46 PM

A fresh chapter in FAO-Bangladesh cooperation was marked on Wednesday with the signing of a new five-year Country Programming Framework (CPF) that will accelerate the pace of agricultural transformation.

The CPF 2022-26 for Bangladesh is a strategic planning and management tool that provides the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) with a sound basis for developing its mid-term country programme, in line with the policies and development priorities of the government, the UN agency said.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has approved the key document which prioritizes sustainable and green agri-economic growth with a focus on women and youth, as well as the delivery of healthy, safe and nutritious food.

The CPF was signed by Fatima Yasmin, Secretary, Economic Relations Division, Ministry of Finance, on behalf of the Government of Bangladesh, and Robert D. Simpson, Representative in Bangladesh for FAO. The ceremony took place at the Planning Commission Campus in Dhaka. Kabir Ahamed, Joint Secretary and Wing Chief, UN Wing, Economic Relations Division (ERD), Ministry of Finance, spoke of the importance of the CPF.

“This new Country Programming Framework will build on the successes of our several decades of partnership with the Government of Bangladesh, as we enter a new phase of collaboration that focuses on climate resilient and sustainable agriculture, food exports, inclusivity, and nutrition security. Moving forward, investing in science and research, and embracing digitalization, will be the key to accelerating progress even further. This CPF will help to achieve these ambitions.”

The CPF 2022-26 sets out FAO’s strategic priorities, key areas of technical cooperation, and medium-term country-level programming activities.

It aligns with the United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF) 2022-2026, the 8th Five Year Plan, the 2030 Agenda, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and the Perspective Plan for 2041.

It also reflects FAO’s Strategic Framework 2022-2031 which seeks to support the 2030 Agenda through the transformation to more efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable agri-food systems for better production, better nutrition, a better environment, and a better life.

Innovation and technology will be important as the country’s food and agricultural sectors continue to develop.

Crop and livestock farmers, fishers, pastoralists, other producers and retailers – large and small – are successfully turning to innovative ideas and digital technologies.

These improvements in production and sustainable resource management keeps more money in their pockets, while also helping to reverse environmental degradation.

Since Bangladesh joined FAO in 1973, FAO has implemented some 350 technical assistance projects in the country with a combined budget of USD 400 million. The new CPF, which has an indicative budget of USD 125 million, will further drive investment and support FAO’s technical assistance.

The country’s economic growth has been consistently high over the last few decades, showing resilience to global economic shocks, including the COVID-19 pandemic.

Agriculture has played, and continues to play, a crucial part of the economy. The sector contributes 12 percent to the country’s gross domestic product and engages more a third of the country’s workforce.

Bangladesh is progressing towards achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, with the strongest performance in the area of poverty reduction.

FAO is the custodian UN agency for 22 SDG indicators, highlighting the importance of agri-economic growth as Bangladesh works to meet these goals and graduate to developing country status.