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Farmers’ market Move to launch separate desks

Published : 26 Feb 2023 09:59 PM | Updated : 26 Feb 2023 09:59 PM

The authorities concerned have taken a decision to introduce a separate desk for running farmers’ market in the urban areas in the country. 

The Urban Development Directorate (UDD) under the Ministry of Housing and Public Works will run the desk.

“A decision has been taken to create a separate desk for the farmers’ market under the UDD. It will be effective soon. Separate budget will be allocated for the desk,” said Numeri Zaman, a joint secretary at Local Government Division (LGD) of the Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development (LGRD) and Co-operatives.

  He said this at a metropolitan level strategic meeting at a hotel in Dhaka on Sunday (February 26). The meeting was held to determine strategies of 16 farmers’ markets which are running in three cities-- Dhaka, Narayanganj and Gazipur.  

 Work for a Better Bangladesh Trust (WBB Trust) organized the meeting with the support of Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of United Nations and the Embassy of the Netherlands. 

 MustakimBillahFaruqui, additional secretary at Urban Development Wing of the Local Government Division; attended the event as the chief guest and Naima Akter, project manager at WBB Trust; presented the keynote paper with Numeri Zaman of Urban Development Wing at LGD in the chair.

 Moderated by Ziaur Rahman, senior project manager of WBB Trust; the event was addressed, among others, by MdMostafizur Rahman, a deputy secretary at LGD; GaousPearee, director at WBB Trust; Pedro Andres GarzonDelvo; policy economist at Dhaka Food System of FAO; Jainal Abedin, national project coordinator of the project; Babar Ali Meer, a zonal executive officer of Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC); Rokanuddin Ahmed, a councilor of DSCC; AsitBaranBishwas, a councilor of Narayanganj City Corporation; and Saiful Islam, a deputy director at Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) in Gazipur.   

 It was said in the meeting that 96.45 per cent of residents are happy with the establishment of area-based farmers’ markets and 87.78 per cent regularly purchase products from the farmers’ markets. On the other hand, 56.64 per cent of the farmers said that they get more profit by selling their produce in the farmers’ market.

 Speakers of the event said that the farmers’ markets need to be regularized through a separate desk considering the benefits of both farmers and consumers.

 MustakimBillahFaruqui said that the DAE should play an active role to ensure safe products in the farmers’ market. The councilors of city corporations should also play a vital role to make the markets sustainable. A specific budget may be recommended to the city corporations concerned for running the farmers’ markets for one year. However, the farmers should bear the transport cost,” he opined.

 The current 16 farmers’ markets, which are being run in Dhaka and two other cities; were launched under the ‘Dhaka Food System’ project of FAO. WBB Trust is implementing the project whose tenure will end this year.

 “Even after the project ends, our activities will continue,” Numeri Zaman said during his presidential speech.  

 Pedro Andres GarzonDelvo said that most farmers and consumers are interested in keeping farmers’ markets running. “We have launched an exceptional market through Dhaka Food System project. We have been able to deliver safe food which also a positive impact on the environment,” he said.

 In her speech, GaousPearee said that it has been possible to deliver safe food to the people through the farmers’ market even on a small scale.