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Smooth operation of agro market

Business training to farmers stressed

Published : 10 Jan 2023 09:18 PM | Updated : 11 Jan 2023 06:34 PM

Speakers at a workshop Tuesday demanded selling hygienic food in a hygienic environment in all commercial markets, food shops, restaurants, hotels and other places in major cities to ensure food safety. 

Against this backdrop, it is critical to have a sustainable food system for Dhaka and other cities and towns of the country to ensure nutritious and safe food supply, said speakers at the workshop.

The speakers called for promoting efforts for sustainable Farmers’ Market in urban areas in order to ensure safe, nutritious and fresh supply of vegetables, fruits and other food items to the consumers at fair prices. 

Work for a Better Bangladesh (WBB) Trust with the support of Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations and Netherlands Government arranged the workshop on sharing Farmers’ Market experiences at a resort in Gazipur.  

Two Farmers' Markets are being run for 18 and 16 weeks respectively at Ward No. 54 and 28 areas in Gazipur city in order to ensure safe, nutritious and fresh supply of vegetables to the consumers. 

The speakers of the workshop said that the Farmers’ Markets in Gazipur and other farmers’ markets set up in Dhaka and Narayanganj cities need to be made sustainable in order to improve public health and the quality of life of farmers. 

Numeri Zaman, a joint secretary of Local Government Division of LGRD Ministry; attended the event as the chief guest with GaousPearee, director at WBB Trust in the chair. 

Ziaur Rahman, senior project manager of WBB Trust, moderated the event and Naima Akter, project manager of the organisation presented the main article, while the event was addressed, among others, by Nasir Uddin Mollah, councilor from Ward No. 54 of Gazipur City Corporation.

Joynal Abedin, national project coordinator of Dhaka Food System Project, Pedro Andres GarzonDelvo, food system policy economist of the project, Jahangir Alam, sustainable agriculture specialist, Hasibul Hasan, Gazipur upazila agriculture officer and Naziat Ahmed, Savar upazila agriculture officer also attended. 

The workshop was divided into eight groups who discussed on various topics to make the farmers market sustainable, providing permanent space, infrastructure and facilities for the farmers market, ensuring storage near the market, management of transport costs through cooperatives, sewage disposal, price and quality of produce by the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) and Market Committee, supervision, regulation of diversity of products, holding markets for two or three days instead of one, ensuring safety of women, encouraging farmers to produce safe food. The groups placed various recommendations, including providing business training to farmers for running the farmers’ markets smoothly.

In his speech as the chief guest, Numeri Zaman said that a market runs at its own pace. Providing permanent infrastructure to farmers markets is difficult. However, markets can be kept running through temporary infrastructure following international examples by identifying specific locations. 

The transportation problem can be solved by paying a small fee to use city corporation vehicles. Where there are raw markets, an opportunity can be created for farmers to sell safe produce in a corner once a week, he added. 

Nasir Uddin Mollah said that the Gazipur City Corporation has several transport facilities. These are not busy on Fridays. If these transports are used to transport the produce to the farmers markets then the transport problem can be solved, he mentioned. 

In her speech, GaousPearee said that the farmers' market has been successfully established through the cooperation of all partners. “We believe that it is possible to make the markets sustainable through the cooperation of all,” she added. 

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